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The Nearly Ultimate Fallout 2 Guide
Written and coded by Per Jorner
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Preparations
- 3 Character design
- 4 Area walkthrough
- 4.1 Temple of Trials
- 4.2 Arroyo
- 4.3 Klamath
- 4.4 Toxic Caves
- 4.5 The Den
- 4.5.1 Collect money from Fred
- 4.5.2 Get book from Derek
- 4.5.3 Lara wants to know what is guarded in the church
- 4.5.4 Get permission from Metzger for gang war
- 4.5.5 Find weakness in Tyler's gang guarding the church
- 4.5.6 Help Lara attack Tyler's gang
- 4.5.7 Deliver a meal to Smitty for Mom
- 4.5.8 Free Vic from his debt by getting his radio from his house in Klamath and paying Metzger
- 4.5.9 Sabotage Becky's still
- 4.5.10 Get car part for Smitty
- 4.5.11 Return Anna's locket
- 4.6 Modoc
- 4.6.1 Farrel has a rodent problem in his garden. Remove the infestation
- 4.6.2 Cornelius has lost his gold pocket watch. Find it and return it to him
- 4.6.3 Farrel wants you to find Cornelius' gold pocket watch. Find it and return it to Farrel
- 4.6.4 Jonny is missing. Find him and bring him home to Balthas
- 4.6.5 Jonny's in the Slag caves. Find a way to get Jonny back home to Balthas
- 4.6.6 Something strange is happening at the farm northeast of Modoc. Investigate and report back to Jo
- 4.6.7 Deliver Slag message to Jo in Modoc
- 4.6.8 Jo is suspecious of the Slags. Find out about the dead bodies at the Ghost Farm and find out what happened to Karl
- 4.7 Ghost Farm
- 4.8 Vault City
- 4.8.1 Deliver Moore's briefcase to Mr. Bishop in New Reno
- 4.8.2 Get a plow for Mr. Smith
- 4.8.3 Deliver a sample of jet to Dr. Troy
- 4.8.4 Solve the Gecko powerplant problem
- 4.8.5 Deliver Lynette's holodisk to Westin in NCR
- 4.8.6 Rescue Amanda's husband, Joshua
- 4.8.7 Deliver beer and booze (10 each) to Lydia
- 4.8.8 Deliver pliers (tools) and a wrench to Valerie
- 4.8.9 Scout the eight sectors around Gecko and return to Stark
- 4.8.10 Enter NCR and return to Stark
- 4.9 Gecko
- 4.10 Raiders
- 4.11 Broken Hills
- 4.12 Redding
- 4.13 New Reno
- 4.13.1 Find a way into the Sierra Army Base
- 4.13.2 Recover your stolen car
- 4.13.3 Find out who was responsible for Richard Wright's overdose
- 4.13.4 Track down Pretty Boy Lloyd, recover the stolen money, and make an... example of him
- 4.13.5 Go visit Renesco the Rocketman and collect Mr. Salvatore's tribute of $1000
- 4.13.6 Help guard a secret transaction taking place in the desert
- 4.13.7 Find some endorphin blockers to make a cure for Jet
- 4.13.8 Bust up Wright's still beneath the train station
- 4.13.9 Assassinate Westin in NCR without making it look like a murder
- 4.13.10 Murder Carlson in NCR
- 4.13.11 Deliver ten Cat's Paw magazines to Miss Kitty
- 4.13.12 Deliver a laser pistol to Eldridge
- 4.13.13 Deliver Big Jesus's package to Ramirez at the Stables
- 4.13.14 Collect tribute from the Corsican Brothers
- 4.13.15 Assassinate Boss Salvatore for Big Jesus Mordino
- 4.14 Golgotha
- 4.15 The Stables
- 4.16 Sierra Army Depot
- 4.17 New California Republic
- 4.17.1 Retrive papers from Dr Henry
- 4.17.2 Test mutagenic serum on a super-mutant. Try Broken Hills
- 4.17.3 Deliver Westin's holodisk to Lynette in Vault City
- 4.17.4 Get the map from the NCR Rangers, for Vortis the slaver
- 4.17.5 Free the slaves in the slave pen, for the Rangers
- 4.17.6 Deliver Hubologist's field report to AHS-9 in San Francisco
- 4.17.7 Kill Hubologist in NCR for Merk
- 4.17.8 Stop brahmin raids
- 4.17.9 Eliminate Mr. Bishop
- 4.17.10 Retrive Parts/Gain Access to Vault 15
- 4.17.11 "Take care of Officer Jack" for Mira
- 4.17.12 Complete brahmin drive
- 4.18 Vault 15
- 4.19 Vault 13
- 4.20 Military Base
- 4.21 San Francisco
- 4.21.1 Steal the vertibird plans from the Hubologists
- 4.21.2 The navigation computer needs the NavComp part to work
- 4.21.3 You need to use a FOB to access the navigation computer
- 4.21.4 Kill the Shi emperor
- 4.21.5 The Hubologists need plans for a vertibird from Navarro
- 4.21.6 Steal the vertibird plans from the Shi
- 4.21.7 The Hubologists need fuel for their spaceship
- 4.21.8 Kill Badger so the tanker vagrants will embrace the Hub
- 4.21.9 Kill the AHS-9
- 4.21.10 The Shi need plans for a vertibird from Navarro
- 4.21.11 The tanker needs fuel
- 4.21.12 Find Badger's girlfriend in the hold below the ship
- 4.21.13 The Dragon wants you to take out Lo Pan - hand to hand
- 4.21.14 Lo Pan wants you to take out the Dragon - hand to hand, if possible
- 4.21.15 Get Chip's spleen
- 4.21.16 Get some hardened power armor from Crockett
- 4.21.17 Get the vertibird plans for the Brotherhood of Steel
- 4.22 Navarro
- 4.23 The Enclave
- 5 Endings
- 6 Encounters
- 7 NPCs
- 8 Car
- 9 Stupid
- 10 Combat
- 11 Items
- 12 Addenda
- 12.1 Talking heads
- 12.2 Bugs
- 12.3 The too many items bug
- 12.4 How to finish the game in half an hour (if you hurry up)
- 12.5 How to find and use the Holy Hand Grenade part 1
- 12.6 How to find and use the Holy Hand Grenade part 2
- 12.7 Unfinished business
- 12.8 Things I won't add to the guide
- 12.9 Top 3 stupid Fallout 2 rumours
- 12.10 Frequently asked questions
- 12.11 Note on guide translation
- 12.12 What's new
- 12.13 Version history
- 12.14 Copyright notice
Welcome to my Fallout 2 guide/walkthrough. This guide exists because I realized that if I wanted the kind of complete Fallout 2 guide that I envisioned, it pretty much meant writing it myself. That turned out to be quite an undertaking, but on the other hand, as far as I'm concerned Fallout 2 is the best computer game ever made.
This guide is an attempt to provide a thorough presentation of the things you can do in Fallout 2: quests to perform, places to go, people to eat. It is not, on the other hand, an attempt to compile reams of game data such as documenting every karma point gained or lost, because it wouldn't be much fun. For game mechanics, detailed item stats and such, consult the manual and/or available in-game information. The basic assumption is that players want to squeeze as much out of their game as possible - which is another thing that makes writing this guide worthwhile, because Fallout 2 is a game that just keeps on giving. There are details and aspects you won't notice until your second, third or fourth game, playing different characters with different attitudes. Or until you read this guide, anyway.
I've been playing the game using the UK edition, patch version 1.02e plus the "children patch". To my knowledge there is not a single significant difference between the UK and US versions except for the children thing. I've also used Falche2 Character Editor 2.10 and Inventory Editor 1.01 extensively to try out situations and features; moreover I've used Fallout 2 DAT explorer v1.42 to unpack game files, Fallout Items Mode Editer 1.1 to check out some item details, Fallout Utility for Critter tinKering 0.62 to check out some critter data, and the script decompilers by TeamX and Noid as well as the scripts that came with the Fallout 2 Mapper to check lots of things. Since trainers, utilities and mods aren't part of the game, I won't deal with them specifically. I don't recommend cheating, other than momentarily for the purpose of experiencing things that you wouldn't normally see, or in a last-ditch attempt to save a doomed character.
Virtually every piece of information or advice presented here has been verified in personal testing or playing experience, although I have of course consulted rather a lot of existing walkthroughs and board postings for snippets of information and things to try out. Sadly, many guides are either poorly written ("klammth this place stinks btr get sum quest!!! i need the xp!!!!!"), give embarrassingly bad advice ("So that's why I always tag Throwing, First Aid and Barter"), include patently false information ("If you keep the Pipe Gun in one of your active item slots it will give you Agility +3, it doesn't work for all characters"), or are glaringly incomplete ("I've heard there is a place called New Reno in this game but I never found it"). Hopefully this guide should avoid those pitfalls with some margin to spare.
Of other Fallout 2 writings I would recommend those of Whitechocobo666, author of the Endings FAQ, the Perks FAQ, the Weapon/armour FAQ and the Evil Walk-through; Steve Metzler, whose Steve's Guide to Fallout 2 was my original source of inspiration; Chris Avellone, co-designer of the game and maker of the Fallout Bible; and also Cristian Golumbovici. General credit goes to the people on the No Mutants Allowed message board. Special thanks to Sébastien Caisse a.k.a. Red! for checking scripts and stuff for guide version 1.0.
Please note that spoilers abound. The first time you play a game like this, you really shouldn't be using any kind of walkthrough whatsoever. If you don't care enough about the unique experience of finding out and doing things on your own to abstain from spoiling it, you probably have better things to do with your time than play the game at all. So, in case this is your first game, don't read beyond Preparations.
If you spot typos, have something to contribute or want to complain that my inclusion criteria are arbitrary, please mail me. If you have a gameplay or technical question that doesn't have anything to do with the guide itself (unless it hints at a deficiency therein), please turn to a message board; there are several on the net. I'm sorry, but you must understand that I'm not a one-person helpline. At least do a couple of string searches before you decide the answer isn't in the guide already.
Comments and additional information have been colour-coded in the following imaginative manner:
A blue star is used for general comments appearing in the Area walkthrough section which have a wider application than the specific context where they are brought up, such as character design, combat strategy or general game behaviour.
First of all you should find out if you need to patch your game. Originally this game existed in five different versions: the US edition, two UK editions (normal and low violence), and two localized editions in German and French respectively. Before playing you should locate, download and install the patch (v1.02) for your version, since this will drastically improve performance and gameplay from the unpatched version of the game. This is all in the readme file, by the way. Always read those. In the walkthrough, notes that are only relevant to the unpatched game will be marked with red stars, i.e. as being largely uninteresting. If you have any kind of budget re-release or new localized version I don't think there should be any need to patch the game, but for your own sake you should make sure.
Install the patch before you start playing, since saves made in the unpatched game will be invalidated. There is an unofficial save game converter, but I think it only works on US saves and not on any of the European versions.
You can use the US executable with the UK version if you are bothered by the CD lock of the latter. To my knowledge there are no harmful consequences to this. As an aside, there are a few known purely textual differences between the US and UK versions concerning "sensitive" words: "drug" has become "chem", and "addiction" has become "reliance" (but the "Addict" tab in the main interface is still the same). The reason why is anyone's guess, but if you've been wondering where I got this "chem" word from, that's the explanation.
There is no official patch for the English Low Violence edition (marked ELV on the CD), but it's been reported that using either the US or UK patch works fine, even though it says in the readme that "applying a patch from any of the other versions will severely corrupt the game". You might want to go for the US patch, because of the CD lock thing. (Actually what I'd really recommend is not having anything to do with that product in the first place.)
I also strongly recommend, if you have any other version than the US one, that you download the so-called children patch. This set of files, which is not technically a patch at all, will add the in-game children which have been removed from these versions (for some obscure reason of law or policy which apparently did not apply at all to Baldur's Gate, where you can roast kids with Fireballs all you want). You don't need any additional code, it's all there already. If you don't have the kid files, you'll miss out on a few quests, be exposed to invisible pilferers and be confounded by bodiless voices, which is all bad. You have been warned.
The contents of the children patch are simply the kid graphics files which have been copied raw from the US CD, and what's been done to the UK version to remove the kids is simply keeping those same files off the CD. Interestingly enough, Interplay's customer support used to deny all this, but I suppose that would have to be their official line.
A somewhat edited Ashmo: "The German version has no kids and only the 'low violence' deaths. People drop dead. If you set it to normal violence rather than none, they drop dead and bleed. The preferences screen is a bit different as there are only two options on the violence control. You need to get the gore patch (which usually includes the children patch) and then edit the config file to set the violence level higher (setting it to 3 should do the trick). The alternative is to get the executable from the US or UK version and overwrite yours."
Saving and loading times in the unpatched version can be as long as a minute or more. There are at least three ways of improving this to an acceptable 3-10 seconds:
- Install the patch!
- Use the large installation size instead of the humongous. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it works that way on many computers.
- Shut down or disable programs running in the background, such as virus scanners.
I have also found on my own computer that Windows instability has at times caused a significant increase to loading times and that restarting the computer takes care of this. Your system may have its own peculiarities. On fast computers loading times may not be an issue at all, but there are always other problems that crop up to compensate.
One potential problem that relates to processor speed concerns world map travel. On some fast computers, you will zip across the map and have virtually no encounters. Conversely, on computers that can barely run the game you might experience slow travel with numerous interruptions (though this should be a less frequent issue). There are hacks you can use to restore travel speed to a more reasonable level, or you could try running an emulator.
Save often! Ideally you should quicksave after every battle and before every conversation. Having to play even a few minutes' worth of shootin' and lootin' all over again because you made the wrong choice in a dialogue can be irksome. (Of course it may also happen that you realize only afterwards that you've done something wrong and wish you had not saved...) I'd also recommend keeping a save game slot for each time you enter a new major location (town etc.). This way if you really screw up somehow and only find out after you save (it can happen), you "only" have to replay that area. These saves can also come in handy later on if you want to see what would have happened if you'd done differently in a particular quest.
A little word of warning about quicksave: as you probably know the quicksave function is "reset" when you use the regular load or save commands. However, it's not reset if you exit the current game and start a new character.
Once you fill up your quota of slots you can use a file manager of your choice to make room for new ones. Just rename a save game folder (those named "Slot01" through "Slot10") you don't need for the moment to something which gives you a hint of what it contains (like "Slot02-klam"), and that slot will be free for use again. Then whenever you want to bring back an archived save, restore that folder's name to a valid one. You can use a similar trick to swap between whole save catalogues by renaming the "Savegame" folder to "SavegameX" or something else. This way you can juggle different games with different characters.
A more "realistic" approach to the game involves using a single save slot and reloading only if you die or screw up entirely by mistake (but not, for instance, if you fail some action or have second thoughts about something). Not recommended at all for beginners. Also better use at least one more slot for backup just in case your save files are corrupted. An even more realistic playing style called "iron man" involves never saving the game at all except between playing sessions; if you die, you're dead and have to start all over again! (Though I suspect that very few people have actually stuck with this concept to the bitter end, for instance after dying in NCR because you forgot to holster your weapons or in a freak random encounter with super mutants.)
Entering the options screen (which can also be reached from within the game, of course, the difference being that these settings will be used in new games but do not affect existing ones, while changes made in saved games will carry over to this screen), I'd change the following default settings: combat speed to fastest (check the box), target highlight to "on" (helps you see what's happening to critters behind walls), and running to "always". If you've played through the game a few times already you may want to consider raising the difficulty levels to hard/rough.
You can access some sort of recording mode if you press Ctrl-R on the starting screen. You get to choose an area and run around it (with Narg), but you can't talk to people (unless you set off some script) or manipulate objects except for opening doors. This also creates a "selfrun" directory in your game folder where the recording is stored. When you're fed up, press Ctrl-R again to return to the starting menu. If you now wait for a while, one of your recordings will start playing, more or less accurately. The most interesting thing about this is that it shows a few unimplemented or unreachable areas, namely the Holy Hand Grenade encounter (see the Addenda section for more on this), a third Den area (with Smitty and Anna in it), and the inside of the space shuttle (which doesn't have any proper graphics). See the Area walkthrough section for a way to exploit this in the game.
There's a particular bug I want to tell you about right away, the "too many items" bug, because when it strikes you won't necessarily have any clue what causes it (unless you read this, that is). In brief, if you collect too many items (e.g. if you aim at hoarding every quest item in the game in the trunk), this will corrupt save files and make the game crash. Normally you shouldn't need to worry, but if you spot the skilldex button going black while you're playing, you're in the danger zone. See Addenda for more info and a way to counter this bug if the worst comes to the worst.
The SPECIAL system used for Fallout 2 character design is so flexible that a complete run-down on possible types isn't feasible nor desirable. I'll center this discussion on a character type which has worked very well for me and try to argue briefly why it does. If the four extremes of character creation are the ones known as diplomat, thief, sniper and brawler, mine is a kind of small guns generalist who can in time excel at everything. It is somewhat similar to the one popularly known as "diplosniper", although some details such as my liking of Fast Shot may run counter to that definition. In any case you'll gain a lot more xp than in Fallout, which is why there's really no need to choose a specific path.
The pre-defined characters are generally considered to suck dead gophers (e.g. Narg has Throwing, Mingan has Skilled and Chitsa has Barter). One of the nicest things about most computer RPGs is creating your own character or characters, anyway; even if I wanted a "Mingan" character, I'd make one instead of taking Mingan.
Gender plays a negligible role in the game. Bartering is only affected if you also have the Sex Appeal trait. The only noteworthy differences are that male characters can donate genetic material in Vault City and date Phyllis, while female characters can sleep with Metzger, Little Jesus and T-Ray for money or favours and can get hired by Miss Kitty to go to the Stables. There are several more people that will only sleep with characters of a specific gender (e.g. Angela Bishop, Slim Picket, Fannie Mae), but not much comes of it. Stupid characters can only box if they're male.
Age is not checked in any of the scripts. A nice detail is that your character will age as time goes by in the game (well, maybe the opposite would have been strange, but it's nice anyway, isn't it?).
When allotting char points there are some things to keep in mind:
- Strength: Extremely useful for... carrying stuff. Believe me, this is a game in which you'll want to carry stuff. You should start out with at least 5 (especially if you're taking Small Frame). However, since ST can be increased by 6 points during the game (perk +1, surgery +1, armour +4), I wouldn't recommend going any higher than that; even if you go for the full 10 it will mostly be noticeable in the beginning stages of the game (and a waste towards the end).
- Perception: Good for ranged combat. A starting minimum of 5 is required for the Awareness perk, but there are quest benefits to setting it to 6 even for HtH characters. Can be increased by 2 points during the game (perk +1, surgery +1).
- Endurance: Determines Hit Points and not much else. Unless you like close combat a little too much I wouldn't put more than 4 (and anyway, two extra points to EN still only means some 30 extra HP by the end of the game). Can be increased by only 1 point during the game (perk +1).
- Charisma: Useful for keeping your dialogue options open, though not nearly so important as Intelligence. Affects bartering both directly and indirectly. Your maximum number of followers is equal to your CH divided by two, rounded down. Even if you don't plan to keep any company you might want to set it to 2 so you can at least pick up NPCs temporarily for xp and such. Can be increased by 3 points during the game (perk +1, surgery +1, shades +1).
- Intelligence: Unless you plan to rely on brute force for everything, this is likely your most important statistic since it rules conversation and determines extra skill points per level. 7 is a balanced value since it means you only need one Mentats for the few occasions where you need to go higher, though anything up to and including 9 is probably not too much. Can be increased by 3 points during the game (perk +1, surgery +1, weird brain alignment +1).
- Agility: Determines your Action Points, so you don't want less than 6, and starting with anything up to 10 doesn't hurt. Can be increased by only 1 point during the game (perk +1).
- Luck: As the effects of Luck are not so obvious, it's easy to perceive it as the trash stat of the system (much like Charisma usually is everywhere else). It does have an impact on your rate of critical hits, especially with the Sniper perk in place, but early in the game you won't suffer much from a low Luck score. It can be improved by 3 points during the game (perk +1, either a weird brain alignment +2 or another weird brain alignment +1).
Stats can never be effectively raised above 10. Of those stat rises mentioned above, the "weird alignment" which gives IN +1 and LK +1 and the other which gives LK +2 are mutually exclusive. Also evil characters will normally lose out on the "surgery" IN +1 bonus.
A Strength of 5 is enough to handle virtually all weapons early on and many later ones as well (HK P90c, Gauss Pistol, Pulse Rifle). ST 6 is needed for some mid- or late-game weapons such as the Gauss Rifle and Bozar, and ST 7 for all kinds of miniguns, which means that once you get the Power Armor you can pick and choose anyway. If you use a Bozar with ST 5 you "only" get a -20% penalty which can be balanced with skill points, whereas the stat point can be put to better use.
EN, CH and AG all work in the way that an odd score will not give you any significant advantages compared to the even number below, e.g. AG 6 or 7 both give you 8 Action Points. Keep this in mind, but also keep in mind ways of increasing stats later; with an odd starting AG, the Gain Agility perk becomes an extra Action Boy, which it wouldn't otherwise.
You can eat Mentats and recruit party members while your CH is high; you won't lose them when your CH returns to normal (except in the rare case of CH 1 and Lenny). Note however that this will only let you raise your CH by 2, which corresponds to one extra NPC (unless you use the save/load trick - see the Items section). Although there are other ways to improve your CH, in my opinion the best NPCs are the ones found early in the game anyway.
In v1.0, getting the car would effectively raise your maximum number of NPCs by one, so that under optimal conditions you could have six of them. The readme mentions this has been fixed for Goris, but actually all of them had the same problem and the same fix.
If you set IN lower than 4, your character will (usually) only be able to speak in grunts, unable to carry on any meaningful dialogue. Needless to say this will severely impair your ability to take on and solve quests, but you can use Mentats to help with that. (Note that you can also use Mentats "in reverse" during a normal game - take one or two and wait one hour for your stats to drop below normal - if you want to take advantage of an IN<4 feature. Psycho is even more effective.) For more details, see the Stupid section.
- Small Frame: One more stat point and not "some Action Points" like the manual says. Carrying stuff is nice (mmm... stuff), but not crucial once you learn what to keep and what to stow away.
- One Hander: Many of the best weapons in the game are two-handed, but it's good for HtH characters since the bonus applies for Unarmed-class weaponry, none of which is two-handed (your completely unaided punch and kick attacks are unaffected).
- Finesse: Decent trade-off. Like the More Criticals perk this is made obsolete by the Sniper (with high LK) or Slayer perks, but Finesse will benefit you from the very start of the game.
- Fast Shot: A personal favourite, because I like firing a pistol five or six times during a round. When you get Sniper, it rocks, and sticking to burst weapons makes the drawback irrelevant. Don't take this if you're a hard-core sniper though.
- Gifted: The stat bonuses counteract the skill penalties (especially if you put a few extra points to IN), so this is universally regarded as the best trait. I don't use it myself because it almost feels like cheating, or at the very least it spoils the challenge of balancing your stats.
Geoffrey Bateman opines on Small Frame (which I originally rated as a poor trait): "You lose a little Carry Weight, but you'll get Sulik soon, and then maybe a couple more mules, then a car, and Power Armor... Small Frame makes the game a little tougher for a brief while, and in return you get a character point (which could be used for, say, an extra point of IN and 2 skill points per level)."
Fast Shot doesn't work with HtH attacks, but still removes your ability to make targeted blows (meaning it's actively bad for mêlée characters). This is a change from Fallout.
If you raise a stat with Bruiser, Small Frame or Gifted, you can redistribute the extra point(s) manually, so think of them as extra generic char points, although technically this is not so (which is reflected by the fact that you can't lower the raised stats below certain values, but that should never be a problem).
Paul Melin points out that if you were going to set IN to 10 anyway, the skill point loss from Gifted cannot be offset. Sure, but how many skill points can you find a use for anyway?
Potentially useful but not overly worthwhile traits:
- Heavy Handed: Helpful early on, but downright awful late in the game when you'll actually do less damage than if you didn't have this trait.
- Jinxed: Could be useful in a pure (and weird) HtH game. If you or your party members are using guns yourself you shouldn't want to randomize combat unless you're always worse at it than the critters you'll be fighting (in which case you may want to rethink your playing style entirely).
- Good Natured: Effectively a skill point boost, since you gain more useful points (Doctor, Speech) than you lose useful ones (Small Guns or Melee Weapons), but marginal in the long run. Unmissable in a pure diplomat game, if you get around to playing one of those.
- Sex Appeal: Admit it, you always wanted this.
Sex Appeal is mostly for female characters, since you'll be dealing with more men in the game world. Even so it won't be an important factor. If you have a low CH it will have a noticeable effect on bartering (almost all shopkeepers are male). It has no positive effect if your CH is 10, and no negative effect if your CH is 1.
Traits to avoid:
- Fast Metabolism: Both effects are utterly marginal, so it's simply an utterly marginal trait.
- Bruiser: Two more stat points, but you need the AP. That's like losing four points of Agility, which is ridiculous.
- Kamikaze: Trade away protection for Sequence which matters only during the first combat round? No thanks.
- Bloody Mess: Fun to begin with (for instance, start up a game and beat up Klint), but doesn't do anything in game terms, and gets tiresome. You'll see those animations anyway and it will feel more like a reward (!) without this trait.
- Skilled: With a decent IN you'll be swimming in skill points. A horrible trait, avoid like the plague (unless you have IN 1 or something, though it beats me why you would).
- Chem Reliant: The average time you spend being addicted won't change, so what's the big deal? Chem use is marginal anyway and most players will probably just reload if they get addicted.
- Chem Resistant: Jet is the only chem with a short enough duration that the downside matters much, but even so it's little more than a convenience (you don't have to reload as often).
Jon Lynch makes an interesting argument: "The Skilled trait is not as bad as it seems. Every 12 levels, someone with this trait will fall exactly one perk behind. However, they will also have accumulated 60 more skill points in this time. Since most perks that add skill points tend to give 20-40 of them, you're getting approximately double the points and they can also be placed in any skill, whereas the perks allocate the points for you." Still, this assumes you were going to get a skill point perk, which usually isn't your greatest priority. At level 24 I'd much rather have two more perks than 120 extra skill points.
Recommended skills to tag:
- Small Guns: Because you should be using this for your primary combat skill for most of the game.
- Lockpick: Because there are many, many locked containers and doors and you'll want to open them with a minimum of fuss.
- Speech: Because you want people to like you and be impressed with you and give you quests and generally do what you tell them to.
There simply isn't any other skill which comes close to the usefulness of these three, at least if you're playing the game my way. Tag them and bump them up to around 100% early on (except possibly Small Guns if you want more use out of those Guns and Bullets magazines), it will pay off. A mêlée character will want one of these instead of Small Guns:
- Melee Weapons: Unless you make this your primary combat skill you never really have to use it. If you do, tag it and pump it to 100% as soon as possible.
- Unarmed: This is used in a few quests, but you don't have to spend any skill points here since it can be raised for free to about 100% anyway. Unless you're going Unarmed all the way I'd wait till after that to make it my primary combat skill.
With that taken care of you can start raising your secondary skills:
- Big Guns: Fun, but only used late in the game and so not worth a tag.
- Energy Weapons: See Big Guns.
- Doctor: You'll want this up to 75% eventually, but not worth a tag.
- Traps: There aren't that many traps in the game, actually, and they're not likely to kill you. You could raise it to 60-70% for convenience, but feel free to ignore this skill altogether.
- Science: Can be raised with books. You'll want at least 81% eventually, but don't use any points until you have to.
Skills you will use but need not spend points on:
- First Aid: Does little that Doctor doesn't do better. Don't use any skill points on this, raise it with books.
- Repair: Can be raised with books, so don't use points here.
- Outdoorsman: Can be raised with books, although those are rare. Mostly good for avoiding annoying random encounters.
If you've been wondering what First Aid does do better than Doctor, it comes with a free +20% bonus to your skill check. And... that's pretty much it, I think.
Rather pointless skills:
- Throwing: Rocks and grenades simply don't play a huge role in the world of Fallout 2.
- Sneak: I'm sorry, but I don't see the point of sneaking past people when you can just blow them up instead (or maybe that's the point, you sneak up and plant dynamite? Unfortunately there's not enough dynamite to employ this tactic consistently).
- Steal: Don't bother unless either you don't mind if everyone turns hostile on you, or you plan to save and reload a lot (which isn't my favoured playing style). If you really must steal something, you can usually do it with a low skill level (saving first, of course).
- Barter: Early in the game there won't be a whole lot to buy. Later in the game you'll be swimming in money. Don't waste a single skill point here. Unless you raise the skill way above 100% your CH will have a greater impact on bartering anyway.
- Gambling: See Barter.
A "cheat": when buying a non-combat skill which is slightly above 100%, raise the difficulty to hard (assuming you usually play on normal). Your skill will drop below 100% so you only have to spend one skill point per skill level. Afterwards return the difficulty setting to normal or whatever. This also works when reading books; see the Items section for a note on this.
Some players actually favour the Sneak skill as in some situations it will let you kill people without anyone noticing, which is useful in assassinations. It can also be useful for HtH characters to get as close to the enemy as possible before they open fire. It doesn't much help with stealing, though, as in almost every shop where the wares are kept in an onscreen container the script simply doesn't take sneaking into account.
I'll put a couple of Steal notes here, because they don't seem to fit anywhere else. You gain a bonus (or suffer a smaller penalty) stealing from the back or side of someone, but the Sneak skill does nothing. Item size (which is not the same as weight) is a factor unless you have the Pickpocket perk. Regardless of your skill level you can use Steal to see what humanoid critters are carrying, although you won't see items they're holding or items that they "produce" during the course of a quest.
If you manage to steal and/or plant an item two or more times in succession you gain an increasing amount of xp for each successful attempt: 10, 20, 30 and so on, meaning the total will be 10, 30, 60 and so on. However, the total amount will cap out at 300 minus your Steal level, and if you're caught you get none at all. Low-level thief characters can benefit from this by stealing "one coin at a time" from potential victims (or swapping an item back and forth). Personally I'd try to think of something more meaningful to do.
In some shops you can use Steal on the shopkeeper or a container to take stuff and/or money; in others you can't because the wares are kept in an offscreen container when you're not talking to the shopkeeper or because some scripting feature prevents it. In the latter case wares will appear on the body of the shopkeeper only if you kill them, and perhaps not even then.
Starseeker adds this on Steal: "I have found out that if you have low Lockpick skills, you can try to steal stuff from locked drawers or tables, but it may not always work for some reason. It won't work on lockers." Experimentation shows that it works on desks and workbenches, but not on lockers or footlockers.
You can plant items on people using Steal. The only use of this feature I know of, except giving equipment to your NPCs, is to arm an explosive, put it on someone, then whistle innocently and walk away a bit. But don't save your game before it goes off; it's been reported that this can corrupt your save slot completely!
A tip from Masklinn: "Some people don't show their weapons (sometimes other items, but mainly weapons) in the thieving interface but accept to barter them. Just enter the barter interface, put the weapon in the trading area, then go back and quit dialogue; quite a lot of people will have put the item where you can see it in the thieving interface and you can now steal it."
As a rule, it's not worth it to raise most skills above 101%. Combat skills can be improved beyond that for an extra edge until you reach the point where you get the maximum 95% chance to hit against all opponents and from any reasonable range (which takes a bit longer if you practice the art of aimed shots or blows). Unarmed is an exception if you make use of the HtH Evade perk, though at high levels you'll have to spend quite a lot of skill points for each point of AC. Science has a few uses above 101%; most are strictly marginal, but go for it if you don't have anything else to do with the points. Most often you can just try again if you fail a skill check, even in dialogue. Sneak, Steal and Outdoorsman might seem like exceptions since failure has more of an immediate effect in these cases, but your rate of success hardly rises linearly with skill level anyway; quite likely the chance of success for Steal and Sneak is capped at 95% even before modifiers are applied, just like Outdoorsman.
The three top perks, hands down:
- Awareness: Extremely useful. This should be your first perk (which means you should always start with a minimum PE of 5).
- Bonus Rate of Fire: In conjunction with Fast Shot this is so good.
- Sniper: The sniper perk which will allow you to take on opponents like the Navarro and Enclave troops confidently.
In case you need to raise a stat with a perk in order to qualify for another perk, make sure you get this in time. Ideally you should have a good idea when you start playing which perks to take at which level. If you don't have the stats to meet the requirements of a perk you can in some cases use drugs to raise them temporarily and get the perk, but this does not work with perks that have a Luck requirement, for instance. Check out the chems in the Items section for details. Also remember you must spend each perk before earning a new one.
Some have asked me about Sniper and how it interacts with effects that modify your Critical Chance; specifically, the observation has been made that "Sniper and non-aimed" can produce less crits than "aimed and non-Sniper". Basically this is correct for values of Luck below 6. How I think Sniper works, and which is borne out by shooting the pariah dog a great number of times, is that it doesn't replace your usual crit chance but instead adds an independent possibility of a critical hit. If you have Luck 4 you'd normally get crits 4% of the time, with Sniper you'd increase that to 42% (40% from the perk plus 4% of the remaining cases). Using targeted shots to the eyes which increase the crit chance by 60%, you'd have a "normal" chance of 64%, going to 78% with Sniper. In the latter case you'd "only" be up 14% as compared to 38%, and expressed as a fraction of the original crit chance the difference in gain is much greater. Sniper would still add something, though, in this case roughly equivalent to three levels of More Criticals. Similarly, making aimed shots will improve your effective crit chance even if you have Sniper, though the benefit is smaller at high values of LK (12% at LK 8 and 6% at LK 9 for eye shots) and you might then be better served by the extra shot or two afforded by Fast Shot. By contrast, the benefit of More Criticals fades to insignificance even at moderate LK if you have Sniper. With Sniper and LK 10 you get crits all the time, but you can still get more damaging and/or debilitating ones by making aimed shots.
Recommended perks (number of ranks in parentheses):
- Action Boy (2): Whether you need this, and if so how many levels, depends on your current Action Points and what weapons you plan to use. Try to get an even multiple of your weapon's AP cost (or a multiple plus reloading cost if ranged).
- Better Criticals: Yummy.
- Bonus HtH Attacks: Great for brawlers. (HtH just isn't as efficient as ranged combat.)
- Bonus Move (2): A good early choice for HtH characters, and arguably pretty useful for anyone.
- Gain Agility: Good if your new AG is an even number, which means an extra Action Point. Otherwise don't bother, it will only net you a few skill points.
- Living Anatomy: Very good, 5 more damage per attack and Doctor points although you may not need them at this stage.
- Quick Pockets: Actually this is a break early in the game when you find yourself needing Stimpaks or Healing Powder at times, and an overall convenience later on.
- Slayer: The ultimate HtH perk (and unlike Sniper you don't need to make a LK roll).
Michal Burger puts in: "The Bonus Move perk is for an HtH character far superior to Action Boy/Girl, which you suggested, because your enemies tend to slide 2-8 hexes after you hit them so you almost always use up all of your 'move only' Action Points, even if you have two levels of this perk. Another advantage is that you can get Bonus Move at 6th level, compared to 12th for Action Boy. I can never find any good perks at the early levels, so I almost always go for Toughness and Bonus Move. And some extra move AP can be still useful even in ranged combat - for hiding behind obstacles." This argument was made for Fallout where the Super Sledge is the best mêlée weapon, but it has merit even without the knockback angle. Volcano adds: "I find Bonus Move has its uses in ranged combat, when using heavy burst weapons like miniguns or the Bozar. It allows you to get a clear field of fire so that you can target the enemy without blowing apart your NPCs. And it allows you to line up critters to ensure hitting more than one with each burst. Wiping out six floaters with three bursts from a Vindicator is a lot of fun."
Possibly useful but not crucial perks:
- Dodger: Protection is good.
- Explorer, Ranger, Scout: These all improve your chances of finding special encounters, which can be helpful if you have low LK and play on hard difficulty, but mostly for the fun value, so don't take them until the late game.
- Gain Charisma: This is useful if your new CH is an even number, which means you can recruit another party member... if you want another party member.
- Gain Intelligence: Unless you start out with IN 9 this is good, but not a top priority if you have IN 7-8 already, which you should.
- Gain Luck: Good LK will help with special encounters (maybe) and criticals, so take this in the late game if you can't think of anything else. Great only if you have the Sniper perk.
- Gain Perception: Improves your sniping and helps get the Sniper perk (but you can use chems for that). As you can see all the Gain Foo perks are rather situational.
- HtH Evade: Strictly better than Dodger for Unarmed experts. Note that you can use unarmed weaponry such as the Power Fist with this perk, i.e. your weapon slots don't literally have to be empty (that perk description had me fooled).
- Lifegiver (2): You can accumulate a lot of Hit Points with this one, but after level 12, do you need them? Probably not.
- Magnetic Personality: For those situations where you have a lousy CH and want a large party anyway (without fooling around with chems). If your current CH is an odd number then Gain Charisma is strictly superior to this.
- More Criticals (3): Groovy, but the catch here is that if you get Sniper (and have a good LK) or Slayer, this perk will be made largely redundant.
- Mutate!: There's one way you can use this perk efficiently: exchanging Finesse for Fast Shot at level 27 after you get Sniper (or taking it as your level 21 perk just before reaching level 24). It then effectively becomes another Bonus Rate of Fire. Other than that, don't waste a perk changing traits in mid-game instead of choosing right to begin with.
- Silent Death: Considering the six separate requirements for pulling this off, you'd think it'd do more than double damage!
- Toughness (3): Protection is good (but spending char points on Endurance is not, so take Buffout if you want this). Would be more noteworthy if it affected all damage types. Note that you can eventually get to 80% DR through other means, and 90% is the maximum, so if you take more than one level of Toughness you risk not getting your money's worth.
It's been argued that HtH Evade and Jinxed makes for an effective combination... but hey, that's not really the most inspiring way to play this game, is it? Note that this perk was changed after the manual was printed; the in-game description is the correct one.
Although it's not clear from the description, Lifegiver gives you +4 Maximum HP when you take it; you could say it works retroactively for the level you just earned.
Frank Shannon is not alone when he says: "I'm a little surprised you rated Lifegiver so low." Well, if you take two levels of Lifegiver as quickly as you can and play to level 30, you will have 140 more HP, and it's true that this makes for a good safety margin, especially in an iron man game. However, by that time you'll have run around in heavy armour and with resistance bonuses for a good while and you seldom have to worry about being slain outright except by massive critical hits that bypass armour. Lifegiver could save you in such a moment - and so could Dodger, abstractly speaking. Meanwhile, offensive perks which add attacks, manoeuvrability or damage will be working for you constantly. I'd consider taking Lifegiver before I considered dumping more char points in Endurance, but I still find it limited in appeal.
If you have CH 8 or 9 and didn't get the Mirrored Shades and/or Blue Memory Module yet, you may want to skip Magnetic Personality since you can't normally have more than 5 party members anyway. This perk is available from level 6, not level 3 as the manual states.
Krum Stanoev adds: "There's another fairly obvious way to modify your primary stats in-game with the Mutate! perk. You can start with an Agility of 6 and still get Sniper: you pick Finesse, then you pick Gain Agility to make it 7, then Mutate! to swap Finesse for Small Frame and get AG 8 for Sniper just before you make it to level 24." (Or you could take a dose of Psycho.)
One could make an argument such as this: "If you use Mutate! to change any mediocre trait to Gifted, you're basically getting seven Gain Foo perks at once. That's got to be the best perk ever." The problem with this is that it assumes you didn't get Gifted from the start even though you could have. The beauty of swapping Finesse and Fast Shot is that the benefit of Finesse and the drawback of Fast Shot disappear at the same time, namely when you get Sniper.
It's possible to score more than one double-damage hit with Silent Death in the first round of combat, assuming you can position yourself behind two or more enemies without leaving Sneak mode (which is difficult if you have to pass directly in front of them).
Perks I rather doubt the usefulness of:
- Bonus HtH Damage (3): Should have been a lot more damage. Now you'll have to get all three levels to notice any difference. Note that this perk adds to the maximum damage - that's only one point on average for each perk slot!
- Bonus Ranged Damage (2): Not enough of a bonus unless you're using a Minigun, Bozar or the like (although if you expect to score a lot of damage multiplication criticals it gets a little better).
- Gain Strength: You shouldn't need this to get to ST 10.
- Pack Rat, Strong Back (3): Carrying more stuff just can't be wrong ("Pack rat you is!"), but spending perks to do it is.
- Pickpocket: Neat for thief characters, I suppose, but effectively a convenience perk unless you really never save before stealing.
- Silent Running: If you must play a sneaking character I guess this takes a lot of frustration out of playing, but doesn't it spoil the atmosphere? Pure convenience.
- Smooth Talker (3): Almost the equivalent of the Gain Intelligence perk, but not quite... Better to start off with a decent IN instead, no?
- Tag!: Since it's a skill point perk, personally I wouldn't touch it, but used correctly it can give you rather a lot of points so I'm rating it higher than the rest.
- Thief: Pretty much the same for this. Since it gives you 40 skill points and you can get it at level 3 this is one of the best skill perks. Not that these thief skills are crucial or anything.
- Weapon Handling: Could be used to facilitate switching to Avenger Minigun or the like early in the game, but otherwise not needed unless your ST is way too low to begin with. Just spend some skill points to compensate.
You can play a little trick with the Tag! perk. When you use it to tag a skill, it will raise the skill level by the same amount you already raised the skill, including bonuses gained during play (but not the initial 20% bonus). The trick is that before leaving the character screen you can lower the skill to its previous level (gaining even more skill points if the skill went above 101%), and then spend the points elsewhere. Effectively this perk can give you an amount of generic skill points at least equal to the highest amount you've gained in a non-tagged skill, and potentially much more, which makes it far superior to every other skill point perk. Although a favourite of some players, personally I think it's no big deal, since I don't care much for skill points late in the game anyway. As pointed out by Volcano, the game keeps track of the skill level if it goes above 300%, so if you tag a skill at 299% you'll get several hundred points out of it - but if you tag a skill at 300%, you can't lower it at all!
When you pick a skill point perk (other than Tag!) you can redistribute points only to the extent that you have previously raised that skill by investing skill points, reading books or getting one-shot bonuses. Survivalist is probably the most likely candidate of the bunch, but it's still much inferior to Tag! for the purpose. Also note that skill point perks raise skills by a fixed amount, no matter if they are tagged (in which case you lose) or higher than 101% (in which case you profit). This redistribution trick also works on a smaller scale when you buy a perk that raises a stat.
Useless perks which should only be chosen if you have no other options (or really want to):
- Adrenaline Rush: Gain an infinitesimal bonus, but first you'll have to be dying? Let me think.
- Cautious Nature: Pointless for anyone but the most cowardly diplomats who can't think of anything else.
- Comprehension: What's the use if it doesn't raise the maximum skill level which can be reached using books? See Educated etc.
- Cult of Personality, Karma Beacon: These perks have no effect in the game. That's right, they do nothing. Take Adrenaline Rush or Light Step if you want a better perk than these two.
- Demolition Expert: So extremely marginal.
- Earlier Sequence (3): Not worth it.
- Educated (3), Gambler, Harmless, Master Thief, Medic, Mr. Fixit, Negotiator, Salesman, Speaker, Survivalist: All these perks give you nothing but skill points. You don't need more skill points. You need the cool perks listed in the sections above this one.
- Empathy: It seems like a great idea in theory, but this game simply isn't about choosing the dialogue options that keep other people happy.
- Faster Healing (3), Healer (2): Healing rate is never an issue.
- Fortune Finder, Master Trader: Money is not an issue. Fortune Finder is just awful; Master Trader isn't actively bad, just strictly unnecessary.
- Gain Endurance: Endurance is simply not important, and this does nothing if your EN is an even number. Lifegiver is tons better for HP.
- Ghost: Like a skill point perk only you don't get the skill points!
- Heave Ho!: Strictly for grenade chums, and exceptionally marginal even so.
- Here and Now, Swift Learner (3): These two help you gain levels. What's the primary purpose of gaining levels? To get perks. So why use perks to gain more levels? If you want HP and/or skill points there are much better choices anyway.
- Kama Sutra Master: Doesn't really do anything that Sex Appeal, Sexpert and/or good physical stats don't. A sex perk is bound to be utterly marginal.
- Presence (3): Don't bother. Extremely few critters treat you differently depending on reaction, and this perk isn't likely to be the factor that tips the scales in your favour.
- Light Step: Not enough traps to make this remotely worthwhile. Not even if it said "never" instead of "less likely".
- Mysterious Stranger: Utterly useless.
- Night Vision: Situational, and doesn't do much. Increase your weapon skill instead or pick Sharpshooter.
- Pathfinder (2): Time is not an issue in Fallout 2.
- Pyromaniac: Too marginal. Should have been a lot more damage to have been any fun. Also note that the (Improved) Flamer is the only weapon that does fire damage (Molotov Cocktails do not, even though they have the "dancing death by fire" animation, and Flame Breaths don't count).
- Quick Recovery, Stonewall: Both mind-numbingly marginal.
- Rad Resistance (2), Snakeater (2): Poison and radiation aren't common enough, or difficult enough to handle, to necessitate these small bonuses.
- Sharpshooter: Effectively just a minimal skill increase for all ranged attacks. Increase your preferred weapon skill instead and use the perk for something special.
Kanhef explains Heave Ho!: "A character's maximum range for throwing weapons is ST*3. Someone with a Strength of 2 can throw things up to 6 hexes away. Taking Heave Ho! gives them an effective ST of 4, for a range of 12. However, the maximum throwing range is 8 for spears, and 15 for grenades. So raising Strength above 5 doesn't increase range at all. Characters with a Strength of 1 would benefit from this perk; it's completely useless with a Strength over 4." Throwing Knives have a maximum range of 16 hexes, but taking a perk to increase your ST 5 character's range with that particular weapon by 1 hex would seem to fall within the definition of "completely useless".
Both Heave Ho! and Survivalist have only one rank instead of three like the manual says. Several other perks were changed (for example, all skill point perks), but their proper descriptions are in the game.
Here and Now gives you exactly the amount of xp needed to reach the next level; ideally it should be taken at a high level and after earning just enough xp to reach your current level. Well, ideally it should not be taken, but you know what I mean. You need to exit and re-enter the character screen to get the skill points and the new perk, if any. Volcano adds: "If you take Here and Now as your perk at Level 99, your accumulated xp total becomes 0. There doesn't seem to be any other effect." Taking it at level 97 gets you to level 99 (see note in the Area walkthrough introduction). This perk is available on level 3 instead of level 9 as the manual says; this is actually not a bug, but was omitted from the final patch readme.
In v1.0 when you took Here and Now you gained an amount of xp equal to the total amount needed to reach your current level; starting at level 6 you would gain more than one level as a result, with the number of levels gained increasing with your current level. For instance, if you took the perk just after reaching level 19, you would double your total experience to 342,000 and rise to level 26. Of course, you would only be able to pick one perk afterwards. Juan adds: "When I pressed cancel and left the character screen, I saw that the text screen said 'You have gone up a level' 10 times, and my NPCs had levelled up... but they didn't lose their levels! So I tried picking and cancelling Here and Now again, and yes, my party members went gaining levels, over and over, until they reached their max level (and I still had the perk available)." With the patch NPCs will not have a chance of levelling up in this case.
Light Step is one of those mind-bogglingly stupid perks. Not only is the ability to avoid pressure plates decidedly minor, and not only does Light Step require you to pass a difficult AG check for each mine to do so, but they didn't even care to set this up for every floor trap in the game. In fact, the only places where Light Step is used are Redding and outside (but not inside) the SAD.
Contrary to what the manual says, the Master Trader perk doesn't make your own stuff more valuable, but gives you a discount on the value of goods you barter for (the Fallout manual has it right). The effective discount varies somewhat between shops: 20%, 25% and 50% have all been noted (probably because barter modifiers are applied cumulatively and not sequentially).
The Pathfinder perk appears to be slightly bugged: the first level will cut 20% of travelling time (not 25%), while the second level doesn't seem to do anything at all. In Fallout the perk worked as it should.
Sharpshooter is bugged and doesn't really do what the manual says; it's supposed to raise PE by 2 for sniping purposes, yet often improves your chance to hit less, and never more, than increasing PE by 1. Michal Burger figured out that this is because the perk thinks range modifiers are calculated based on PE when it's in fact PE*2, and so increases your chance to hit only half as much as it should. At least it gives you a bonus even if your PE is at 10 already.
Swift Learner decisively wins the struggle for the title of most deceptively lousy perk. It may certainly seem like a good investment when you first look at it, but since the xp requirement for each new level rises linearly, even if you get all three slots of Swift Learner you only ever stay a few levels ahead of someone who doesn't ruin their early game wasting invaluable perks. For starters, you have to wait until level 17 before you're even one whole level ahead of the "slow" learner, and if you eventually get to level 30, which should not be until the game is over anyway, you'll still be only two levels ahead. So, that adds up eventually to a few HP and skill points, for three perks... Simply put, do not choose this perk even if it threatens you with a radiated stick.
There are a few implemented perks which you cannot gain, namely Animal Friend, Flower Child, Mental Block and Scrounger. They were in the original Fallout. Rumours that you can get some or all of them in Fallout 2 are completely unsubstantiated, and only Flower Child has any effect should you add it using a character editor.
First of all, none of that "theme character" nonsense, like tagging Science and Repair and choosing "tech perks" like Educated and Mr. Fixit, or tagging Sneak and Steal and then choosing "ninja perks" like Ghost, Pickpocket and Silent Death, or even tagging Speech and Barter and picking "diplomat perks" such as Presence, Empathy and Cult of Personality. Well, of course you could do that (and probably even finish the game), but in that case it'd be pointless for me to tell you what to do. Also I don't think you could squeeze as much out of the game as you could with a generalist. For one thing, those options will be more or less available to you anyway by the time you need them. For another thing, there are very few advantages (either minmaxing-wise or role-playing-wise) to be gained from being an "expert scientist" or "expert sneaker". Really. Wonderfully flexible as the SPECIAL system is, some characters are bigger than others.
What you really need is good IN (for dialogue and skill points), good Speech, and at least one way to deliver damage efficiently. You then basically have a choice between ranged or close combat because the perk progressions are different, and another choice between going solo or gathering followers. Or you can be stupid, which is the same as, well, pitting the odds against yourself.
The "developed" stats given below assume the following:
- ST +5 (Advanced Power Armor, memory module)
- PE +1 (memory module)
- IN +1 (memory module)
- LK +2 (NCR zeta scan)
Also they include Gain Foo perks if listed in the perk progressions. By default CH remains unchanged since the +2 bonus (Mirrored Shades, memory module) is countered by the enhanced combat implants.
Team gunfighter: A bright and sociable character who can bring three friends along. You can take on all quests and pack some punch.
- Initial stats: ST 5, PE 6, EN 4, CH 6, IN 7, AG 7, LK 6.
- Developed stats: ST 10, PE 7, EN 4, CH 6, IN 8, AG 8, LK 8.
- Traits: Small Frame, Fast Shot.
- Tag skills: Small Guns, Lockpick, Speech.
- Perk progression: Level 3 Awareness, level 6 Quick Pockets, level 9 Better Criticals, level 12 Living Anatomy, level 15 Bonus Rate of Fire, level 18 Gain Agility, level 21 Action Boy, level 24 Sniper.
- Comments: Pick up Sulik, Vic and Cassidy for a posse of gunslingers. Later in the game you can switch to Big Guns (goes well with Fast Shot), perhaps in conjunction with pulse and/or gauss weapons. You need a Jet or Mentats for Sniper. Whether you should pick Living Anatomy or go for more AP is situational.
Gifted gunfighter: A boosted version of the above.
- Initial stats: ST 5, PE 7, EN 4, CH 6, IN 7, AG 10, LK 8.
- Developed stats: ST 10, PE 8, EN 4, CH 6, IN 8, AG 10, LK 10.
- Traits: Fast Shot, Gifted.
- Tag skills: Small Guns, Lockpick, Speech.
- Perk progression: Level 3 Awareness, level 6 Quick Pockets, level 9 Better Criticals, level 12 Living Anatomy, level 15 Bonus Rate of Fire, level 18 Action Boy, level 21 Action Boy, level 24 Sniper.
- Comments: See Team gunfighter. Basically you're a deadly gunman (or -woman) who can also pick up a few NPCs.
Solo sniper: A character that can do almost everything in the game and mostly relies on ranged (and deadly) sniping to conquer the enemy. A bit harder to play early in the game.
- Initial stats: ST 5, PE 7, EN 4, CH 1, IN 7, AG 9, LK 8.
- Developed stats: ST 10, PE 8, EN 4, CH 1, IN 8, AG 10, LK 10.
- Traits: Small Frame, Finesse.
- Tag skills: Small Guns, Lockpick, Speech.
- Perk progression: Level 3 Awareness, level 6 Quick Pockets, level 9 Better Criticals, level 12 Living Anatomy, level 15 Bonus Rate of Fire, level 18 Gain Agility, level 21 Action Boy, level 24 Sniper.
- Comments: Build Small Guns to 150% and kill everything that moves with the Scoped Hunting Rifle/Sniper Rifle/Gauss Rifle. Don't get the enhanced combat implants until you've temporarily recruited the NPCs you can get xp and other bonuses from (such as Myron's antidote quest). You can do the Mutate! thing at level 27 to get Fast Shot if you like, but you'll be pretty deadly anyway with 12 AP and a Gauss Pistol.
Team brawler: A character devoted to Unarmed and Melee Weapons.
- Initial stats: ST 5, PE 6, EN 4, CH 6, IN 7, AG 9, LK 4.
- Developed stats: ST 10, PE 7, EN 4, CH 6, IN 8, AG 10, LK 6.
- Traits: Small Frame, One Hander.
- Tag skills: Melee Weapons, Lockpick, Speech.
- Perk progression: Level 3 Awareness, level 6 Bonus Move, level 9 Better Criticals, level 12 Living Anatomy, level 15 Bonus HtH Attacks, level 18 Gain Agility, level 21 Action Boy, level 24 Slayer.
- Comments: Pick up Sulik and Cassidy. CH 6 is mostly for quest purposes; theoretically you could recruit Marcus or Goris, but I actually wouldn't. You need a quick trip to NCR around level 9 to meet the LK requirement of Better Criticals. You can move two points of CH to LK if you want, but LK ultimately isn't as important for an HtH character. The reason I choose Melee Weapons over Unarmed from the start is that it's a little better in the beginning, and there are many ways of raising Unarmed for free during the game, so that it's very easy to make the switch when the time comes.
Solo brawler: Same as above but with less CH. Not really an improvement, though, since you lose some quest features and mostly boost Luck in return (theoretically you could boost EN instead, but I just wouldn't bother).
- Initial stats: ST 5, PE 6, EN 4, CH 1, IN 7, AG 10, LK 8.
- Developed stats: ST 10, PE 7, EN 4, CH 1, IN 8, AG 10, LK 10.
- Traits: Small Frame, One Hander.
- Tag skills: Melee Weapons, Lockpick, Speech.
- Perk progression: Level 3 Awareness, level 6 Bonus Move, level 9 Better Criticals, level 12 Living Anatomy, level 15 Bonus HtH Attacks, level 18 Action Boy, level 21 Action Boy, level 24 Slayer.
- Comments: See Solo sniper (but exchange the Super Sledge or Mega Power Fist for the Gauss Rifle, and you don't do the Mutate! thing).
Stupid: The workings of the stupid game is detailed in the Stupid section. I wouldn't recommend playing a stupid HtH character, it's rather hard enough as it is.
- Initial stats: ST 5, PE 9, EN 4, CH 1, IN 3, AG 10, LK 8.
- Developed stats: ST 10, PE 10, EN 4, CH 3, IN 3, AG 10, LK 10.
- Traits: Finesse, Fast Shot.
- Tag skills: Small Guns, Doctor, Lockpick.
- Perk progression: Level 3 Awareness, level 6 Quick Pockets, level 9 Better Criticals, level 12 Living Anatomy, level 15 Bonus Rate of Fire, level 18 Action Boy, level 21 Action Boy, level 24 Sniper.
- Comments: You can substitute anything you like for Fast Shot and/or Doctor. You need 2 Mentats for Bonus Rate of Fire. You don't get the combat implants, and of course you can't get any IN rise if you want to remain true to the stupid theme. You'll probably have to fight a lot of random encounters if you want Sniper before heading off to the Enclave, because of the dearth of quest xp.
A quick list of special perks that can be gained, detailed further in the walkthrough:
- Alcohol Lowered hit points: Gained in the Parlor Room in Vault City.
- Alcohol Lowered hit points II: Ditto.
- Alcohol Raised hit points: Ditto.
- Alcohol Raised hit points II: Ditto.
- Autodoc Lowered hit points: Gained from Dr Andrew in Vault City.
- Autodoc Raised hit points: Gained from Dr Andrew in Vault City.
- Expert Excrement Expeditor: Gained from shovelling crap in Broken Hills.
- Gecko Skinning: Gained from Smiley in Klamath.
- Dermal Impact Armor: You can get this from doctors in Vault City, Redding or San Francisco once you learn about implants in Vault City.
- Dermal Impact Asslt. Enhance.: See Dermal Impact Armour.
- Phoenix Armor Implants: See Dermal Impact Armour.
- Phoenix Assault Enhancement: See Dermal Impact Armour.
- Vault City Inoculations: Gained from Dr Troy in Vault City.
- Vault City Training: Gained from Dr Troy in Vault City.
- Jinxed: The pariah dog will bestow this doubtful perk upon you.
During the game you will accumulate characteristics which are neither perks nor traits, but presented alongside them. They're often called "karmic traits", or even "perks", but the manual calls them "special reputations". They don't affect your stats (other than Prizefighter, which could just as well have been a special perk), only how people in the game world react to you.
- Berserker: Kill significantly more good people than bad people. Great pic!
- Champion: Kill significantly more bad people than good people and don't be a Childkiller.
- Childkiller: Kill a child for any reason, even by accident.
- Gigolo: Have sex a lot (or just once, providing you're extremely good at it). (For a woman, this should actually read "Gigole".)
- Grave Digger: Dig up a grave other than Anna's, the fallout shelter in Golgotha, or the buried ghoul in Golgotha.
- Made Man: Join a family in New Reno.
- Married: Marry Miria or Davin in Modoc.
- Porn Star: If you shoot a movie at the Golden Globes.
- Prizefighter: Win the boxing title in New Reno.
- Separated: Have your spouse killed or sold into slavery, or get divorced in New Reno.
The people of the Fallout world seem to adopt an "Einmal ist Keinmal" philosophy when it comes to childkilling. This means that even though you get the Childkiller label on your character sheet for killing one child, scripts always check to see if you've killed two kids or more (including the bounty hunters on the world map). I won't spell this out every time, though, so in the walkthrough, "Childkiller" should be read as "having killed two children or more".
There are a few kids who increase your child kill count twice because of a script redundancy (and thus instantly make you a "real" Childkiller): these are Jonny in Modoc, the Slag kids, and Curtis in Vault City.
Your actual karma level will be described using the karmic titles, from "most good" to "most evil": Savior of the Damned, Guardian of the Wastes, Shield of Hope, Defender, Wanderer, Betrayer, Sword of Despair, Scourge of the Wastes and Demon Spawn. Each 250 karma in either direction from 0 will earn you a new title. I find that being a shameless opportunist will net you high positive karma in the end - which could mean that the designers have strange notions about morality, but more likely just reflects the fact that there are more good things to do in the game than bad ones.
Reputation in specific towns are reflected by the standings: Idolized, Liked, Accepted, Neutral, Antipathy, Hated and Vilified. Like your karma level this is a representation of a numeric value, only this one is hidden. You always start out as Neutral when you come to a place, except Klamath where you're Accepted if your CH is 6 or more, and Vault City where you start out with Antipathy. In Arroyo, of course, you're Idolized. Sadly it's not possible to reach Idolized in all settlements if that's your aim. At the Ghost Farm, for instance, you can't advance beyond Neutral even after saving all their sorry asses.
It should be noted that karma and reputations all have a much smaller general impact on the game than one might think. They make a difference in the case of critters that look directly for certain reputations or threshold values of karma or town reputation, but the basic reaction system that factors in everything at once is hardly used at all and doesn't even work properly. It won't really make any difference whether you have 500 karma or 1500.
And now for some stuff on radiation, which does play a small part in the Fallout world. Sources of radiation include Fruit, golden geckos, and aliens and centaurs in random encounters. Whenever you get a huge dose all at once, the message window says "You have received a large dose of radiation." As explained in the patch notes, the radiation sign pops up once you've reached 66 rem.
As far as I can tell radiation damage works like this: some time after you absorb a dose of radiation, you'll get one of the messages listed below, and you may temporarily lose stat points, Healing Rate and current Hit Points. The severity of the "attack" depends on your total rem count, but also on the amount of recent radiation that triggered the message. After 7 days, your stats will return to normal. A little confusingly, this is signalled by another message identical to the first one. If you absorb more radiation in the meanwhile, your current penalty may be replaced by a more severe one.
Here's a list of the penalties you may suffer. The rem figures are rough approximations.
|>300||"vomiting does not stop"||-3||-1||-1|
|>450||"hair is falling out"||-5||-5||-2||-1||-2|
|>600||"skin is falling off"||-10||-15||-4||-3||-3||-3||-1||-5|
You will expire from your condition if any of these stats except for Healing Rate (including CH) drops to 0 or below. This is checked only at the moment when they are lowered, so you may be able to use drugs to stay alive. Assuming you don't die in this manner, you can live with any kind of rem count and still run around with no penalty whatsoever. In any normal game, radiation is not a significant factor; in fact, in order to reach even 300 rem you'd have to run several laps around the Gecko reactor room or purposely hang around the Toxic waste dump. From what I can tell, there is never any permanent damage resulting from radiation.
Each area walkthrough follows roughly the same pattern: first a general run-down of important people to talk to and things to do that aren't technically quests, then a numbered list of quests just as they're presented in your Pipboy (including typos!). Solutions to some quests are spread across several areas. This is not strictly a walkthrough in the "do this, then do that" sense, but there's enough information and general advice that you should be able to figure out how to do stuff, and have more fun in the process.
Locations on the world map are marked with circles in three sizes. The ones with a large green circle (town-size) can always be found even if you don't know it's there beforehand, while the other two (cave-, farm- or base-size) generally don't appear until someone's revealed their location to you. There are two exceptions: Vault 15 and the Raiders location are medium-sized but are there from the start anyway (see the Raiders section for some speculation on this anomaly). Also note that the Military Base is counter-intuitively city-sized. The difference between small and medium locations are that the small ones don't have town maps.
It should be noted that not all dialogue options described in this walkthrough will be available to a character with middling ability or skill scores (typically IN or Speech). As a rule of thumb, "smart" dialogue options require IN 6 or 7, while "supersmart" ones take IN 8 or 9. (There are a few IN 10 lines in the game, but all of them are inconsequential - Karl, Laddie and Gregory have them. Karl's is even a typo in the script.) You can always try chewing Mentats if you have them.
There are ugly tricks you can play early in the game if you know where to find certain locations and items, such as going to San Francisco from Arroyo, then to Navarro and get the Advanced Power Armor, Pulse Rifle and about 25,000 xp right away. This pretty much spoils the entire game for me, so I'll just do this in the order I usually go places.
The game will end after 13 years of game time (which would correspond to 25 Jul 2254). This event will be marked by a slightly animated screen saying "the end". Even if you play a "go everywhere, do everything" kind of game, you should only use up 3-4 years at the most, and even if you want to walk around the wasteland levelling up endlessly from mindless random encounters, you should be fed up before 13 years have elapsed.
Speaking of levelling up endlessly, you cannot advance beyond level 99. (Oddly, when you reach the 4,753,000 xp needed for level 98 you gain two levels at once, skipping to level 99.) This should not really be a problem, either. In Fallout the limit was 21...
At any time when you get to choose your destination on a town map, you can press a number on your keyboard instead of clicking a green triangle. This way you end up on a location in that town corresponding to the number you pressed, even if you didn't have access to that area previously. This can be used in various ways for convenience or cheating (Alex del Río notes you can enter the Gecko power plant after blowing it up by pressing 2 on the town map and getting another 2500 xp when you get out of there), but needless to say it could interact weirdly with quests and dialogues, and you can even end up getting stuck inside walls, so don't do it in a serious game unless you know exactly what you're doing.
Another general cheat/bug... pressing 0 (zero) in any conversation will instantly end it. For instance, if someone says they're going to kill you, and you press 0, they may not turn hostile, or if you end up in a dialogue thread which leads only to an undesirable end, you can abort it entirely. (E.g. you could get out of fighting Darion in Vault 15 and then kill him with Super Stimpaks, if for some reason you don't feel like fighting his gang.) Using this "trick" may prompt unexpected dialogue and cause quests to reset or abort - you have been warned.
Sean Meskill discovered a way to rest anywhere: "When you have enough status entries (names of locations) that they start to physically appear in the space where the alarm clock entries appear, then you can do the trick. Go someplace where you cannot rest. Enter the Pipboy. Press status. Press the alarm clock, then after it says you cannot rest here click a status item that physically corresponds to an alarm clock item. It will then switch to the rest menu, with the rest option that is in the same place as whatever status item you pressed being used. Usually you can't rest very long doing this, but you can do it as many times as you want. Very useful." Once the rest options appear, you have to click in between them. You need quest entries for at least four locations to be able to access the "Rest for ten minutes" option, and you can never access "Rest until party is healed".
Michal Zalewski found another exploit: "If you are at the brink of an impossible to win encounter, and have no other options (say, you are on the second floor of one of New Reno casinos and have a lot of hostile guards below and only one exit), you can save your game, go to the main screen, hit Ctrl-R and load an arbitrary map, then load your game, walk past the combatants (they will not notice your proximity) and reach safety, save again, hit Ctrl-R and load the last save in the normal mode. Although it is cheating, it is sometimes a better option than replaying several hours of the game. If you feel particularly naughty, you can plant explosives near critters or kill them with Super Stimpaks. This also works if you want to avoid certain scripts. The method won't work if you have already entered combat mode. As a side note, there are some funny consequences to entering the combat mode while in Ctrl-R - most notably, it is possible to get killed, then walk away with negative HP. Quite unfortunately, you will still remain flagged as dead, so if you save the game and then load it in normal mode, the game will immediately end even if your HP is positive. The game may get mangled in Ctrl-R mode on some occasions (it is possible to crash it, or be stuck in endless combat mode), but it seems to be a rare glitch; once you get past Ctrl-R and load the save, there are no side effects as far as I could tell." Some scripts will still be active in Ctrl-R mode, e.g. a guard may prevent you from opening a door even if he won't attack. Experiment at your own risk...
After a cutscene with the village Elder you start outside the entrance to the temple, proudly owning a Spear. Don't attack your tribesmate, there's nothing to be gained and you'll regret it very much later on. Enter the temple and you find yourself in a hallway. Kill the ants and press forward, exploring the side rooms and corridors. Open the second door using whatever puny Lockpick skill you may have. Kill everything (good xp at this point), loot the chests, pots and bones. Might as well bring as many Scorpion Tails as you can carry, too.
In the temple you might as well get into the habit of saving a lot. You may not need it, but it doesn't hurt. Save before taking on a bunch of scorpions. Save before disarming a set of traps. Save before setting the explosives or talking to Cameron. Save before taking the hidden elevator to the secret stash of energy weapons. Kidding.
There's a helpful close combat trick you should be using throughout the temple, and whenever it's necessary. Attack your foe just once, then use your remaining AP to run away. They'll follow you, but may not have enough AP to strike back, which will simplify things. You can even run them around in circles if they refuse to die quickly. Masklinn adds: "Actually, the Temple of Trials mobs (ants and scorpions) can only walk 2 hexes and still be able to hit you. All you have to do is run 3 hexes away from them and you're safe. This means that a character with 9 AP can land two punches before you have to run, 10 AP granting you one Spear attack and one punch, or one kick and one punch. So basically a character at or above Agility 8 will do the temple a tad faster and easier."
There's no point to using targeted blows in Temple of Trials or just afterwards, since critical hits are disabled for the first day of game time. Critical failures are disabled for the first five days.
From now on I won't comment on this unless there are noteworthy items to pick up, but you should search all the bookcases, shelves, bookshelves, dressers, desks, lockers, chests, footlockers, fridges, ice chests, bones, pots, tables, stuff, workbenches, tool boards, wall safes, floor safes, ammo crates, poor boxes, pool tables, mining machines, iguana stands, boxes, crates and other searchable containers as you progress through the game. After a while you learn to recognize searchable objects on sight. Hard-core gamers will search all of them and take everything. :) There are a few deplorable areas though which abound with empty containers, notably Broken Hills and San Francisco.
In this game items on the ground or in corpses do not decay, so you can return and pick them up later on unless they're on a map you can't return to (which will, eventually, be true for all of Arroyo and the Temple of Trials). However, to pick up an item you must be able to click on it, so if a dropped item or a corpse is completely hidden by opaque scenery then it will be lost!
On the second map your character will probably start spotting floor traps. If he or she doesn't, you can walk to and fro to make it happen, unless you have a woefully low PE. Should you have the patience, disarm the traps for 25 xp each. If you're reckless and set off a trap, you can pick up the Sharpened Pole which nearly lodged in your chest (or maybe did). To avoid the traps altogether, keep to the right-hand wall. At one point you're required to set an explosive charge (found in a tall pot nearby) in front of a door, which shouldn't be too difficult. Beware of the trap on the doorstep.
"You see a raised plate" is the game's universal message that your character has spotted a floor trap, so pay attention and learn to identify them. Floor traps seldom appear alone. (Apparently, even in hi-tech military installations devilishly inconspicuous pressure plates are used to trigger traps. You'd have thought they could use, I don't know, motion or IR sensors instead.) If you fail critically while disarming a floor trap it will say that you accidentally set off the trap; this is not strictly true, as the trap often does not go off, but you can't attempt to disarm it again.
You can set the timer on the explosives in your inventory and then drop it, or another way is to put it in an active item slot, leave the inventory window and use it from there; you'll then drop it automatically. Even with a puny Traps skill you can set the timer to the minimum of 10 seconds and run clear before the bomb goes off, whether you get the "explosive detonates prematurely" message or not.
You can open a lot of doors and forcefields in the game using explosives, grenades or rockets, and also unlock containers, but you shouldn't make a habit out of it. Some weak doors can be kicked in or smashed with any weapon, but those are never locked anyway. Normal doors can only be destroyed by explosive damage, so Bozar blasts and Super Sledge wallops are out. Sturdy doors need three blasts to destroy them, so I wouldn't bother, and many hi-tech doors can be expected to resist this kind of assault indefinitely. On some maps you can use a Crowbar from inventory to unlock containers even with a modest ST, but on others it won't work.
At the entrance to the inner sanctum you find Cameron, who represents your final test. There are three ways to get past him:
- Fight him unarmed after a conversation (and without access to your Healing Powder) for 300 xp.
- Steal his key and unlock the door behind his back for 600 xp.
- Talk him out of fighting (IN 4 required and Speech must be tagged) for 600 xp.
Beware that even though he says it's not a battle to the death, it is - for you! He'll happily strike a killing blow even if you're at one Hit Point; you, on the other hand, have to beat 20 HP out of him at which point he'll end the fight. In the unlikely case that you happen to kill him you'll have to take the key and unlock the door (still 300 xp), but the villagers won't hold you accountable. If you fight him, afterwards you'll have to go back to the previous room where your belongings have been stashed in a chest. Then go to the exit grid at the top. Cutscene alert!
Warlord notes: "You can trick the Temple of Trials final trial nicely, if you drop the Spear before talking. You just have to watch out, because if you drop it too close to the man, he'll pick it up in his first round and whack you up pretty good." You could even drop a Sharpened Pole for him to pick up; he'll do a little more damage with it, but he should hit a little less often, and he gets two attacks with it each turn instead of three.
Players often get sick of the temple after starting too many games that didn't progress very far beyond it. Actually it won't affect your game in any serious way if you just run as quickly as you can to each exit. You'll probably have to fight six or seven ants along the way, but that's it. As long as you don't have to fight Cameron the whole thing should be over in a couple of minutes. Personally I think the Temple of Trials is as much a part of the game as any other stage - and also serves to demonstrate the extreme range of playing experiences the game engine has to offer.
"Of course they are! Unless some rat-bastard slaughters them all."”— Seymour and Typhon
It seems you're the only one around with a fashion sense, and now you have access to the Pipboy as well. First off go talk to the Elder to get your quests proper, Vic's Water Flask and some cash ($152 to be precise, but you don't get it if your Intelligence is below 4). Klamath will already be on the world map.
As good an opportunity as any to practice being polite. Like I said in the introduction, I'm assuming you want to do as much as possible of what's available to you, and this means you really won't be able to role-play either an inherently noble character or a terminally sarcastic one. The former because there are several quests where you'll get your best result doing something "bad" to begin with, then following up with something good, as well as other borderline or outright evil quests which are simply too neat to pass up. The latter because it's a well-known fact that in computer RPGs which let you play an "evil" or grouchy character, you'll ultimately be punished for doing so because if you tell everyone you meet how ugly they are, they won't give you quests or bonuses. Such is life. You can always pretend you're role-playing a psychopath who acts nice outwardly because he knows it will suit his purposes, while all the time thinking of new ways to strangle people with their own intestines.
If you attacked Klint or Cameron in the Temple of Trials section, everyone will be hostile when you arrive here. You can run to the exit of the village before they can kill you, but then the game will end. The game will also come to a stop if you manage to end combat (for instance by running to the hunting grounds) and rest until midnight. Same thing happens should you ever attack anyone in Arroyo (or even off them with Super Stimpaks), so don't.
Using the Steal skill on any of the unarmed wandering villagers and passing a Steal check will lower your karma even if you don't take anything (they have nothing to take). This can mess up your dealings with Hakunin, so watch out.
The nutty old shaman Hakunin will heal you to full HP and remove poison for free at any time, providing your karma is not negative. Talk to the not-so-bright Feargus by the well, then fix it (Repair) for 100 xp. This can be done no matter how low your Repair skill. Everyone else includes this in their walkthrough so I guess I should too: there's $100 in aunt Morlis' hut which you should go and grab even if you're not going to search all the containers around you... but you are, right?
Ever wondered why there is at least one Feargus or similarly named character in each of Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale? It might have something to do with Black Isle director Feargus MacRae Urquhart; there are close to a dozen names in these games derived from his (including Cassidy's original name, which shows up if you sell him to Metzger). Names of other developers abound, but none of them sticks out as much. "Smitty" is another ubiquitous cognomen - there are four of those in the two Fallout games, and there might well have been a fifth...
If you have AG 6, talk to Lucas by the stone head and he'll train you to Unarmed 40% if your current skill level is lower than that, else to 55% if you aren't this good already (a good reason not to tag that skill). He has a bag of Healing Powder, so take it and leave him with a few useless Scorpion Tails instead, since you probably can't carry them all into the desert anyway. If you want to barter, do it before the training. Talk to Jordan in the tent northeast of there for +10% to your Melee Weapons if your current skill level is 36% or higher (if you don't meet the requirement you can return later in the game and get the training). Cameron at the top of the map will give you +10% Unarmed and +10% Melee Weapons, but only if your AG is 6 or less and you tagged none of the six combat skills (if you're proficient with Big Guns he apparently thinks you're ready to face the horrors of the wasteland). Depending on your starting skill you might want to get Lucas' bonus first. In case you forgot your stuff in the temple, or you have a craving to bash some helpless left-over scorpions, you can re-enter the temple by taking the northern exit grid to the front entrance or by entering the cave beside Cameron.
Skill rises received from training or other activities can be affected by whether or not you've tagged the skill in question and/or whether it's above 101%. Thus values given in the guide may not always exactly correspond to what you actually end up with.
During the game you'll see four Hakunin dream sequences, which will befall you on 23 Oct 2241, 21 Jan 2242, 21 Apr 2242 and 20 Jul 2242. When you leave Vault 13 after getting the xp for finding it (no matter if you got the G.E.C.K. or even talked to the deathclaws), or leave San Francisco after getting the tanker ready to go, you'll always jump ahead to the fourth sequence ("the village dies"). As time passes the garden and fields will go empty and people will become generally despairing. After 90 days, which corresponds to the first Hakunin dream sequence, you will be unable to get (or to finish, if you already got them) quests 1, 3 and 4, and Hakunin won't give you healing or make Healing Powder any more. After 91 days you'll be unable to get the Water Flask and cash from the Elder.
If you return to Arroyo after seeing the fourth Hakunin dream sequence, the bridge will be destroyed and the village inaccessible. A dying Hakunin will greet you with a story of how the villagers were taken south in vertibirds, and Navarro appears on your world map. You don't have to return here and whether you do or not has basically no effect on the rest of the game.
If you find Vault 13 but don't enter it, Arroyo won't change, but Hakunin's description and dialogue will! This should be a pretty rare occurrence, but it did happen to me once. Hakunin won't actually die after you talk to him, and it won't put Navarro on your world map. Another funny thing is that if you're in Arroyo when you get the fourth vision and talk to Nagor, he'll tell you that Morlis cooked Smoke... but if you didn't rescue Smoke already, you can go and do that (although as noted above you get no xp for it and Nagor's dialogue doesn't change).
Rescue Nagor's dog, Smoke, from the wilds
Nagor is to the east of Hakunin's garden, the dog is in the hunting grounds area to the west. Go there, kill any hostile geckos (or Sneak past them), grab all the Broc Flowers and Xander Roots you can get, and avoid stepping on the green slime. When you get to the dog at the top left it'll follow you back and even help you kill geckos on the way. The flowers and geckos reset every day if you leave the map and return. It may seem like an idea to stay here and level up from killing geckos, but actually it's much more work than it's worth, so only do that if you're close to leveling up already and can't wait (or see the note below). You get 100 xp for returning the dog alive. If you tell Nagor the dog died, he'll run off on his own to look for it unless you ask him not to, and he'll also take off if you turn down the quest. If you then follow him to the hunting grounds, he'll be lying dead next to a dead gecko, the dog will be gone, and you can't strike the quest off your quest list. But you can take a Spear from Nagor's cold body.
Zuger's patented leveling technique: "The easiest way to get xp from stealing is from the drugged-up geckos in Arroyo. Just plant and steal Broc Flowers. Easiest way to level up early on in the game. Gets a bit tedious though. With a Steal of like 10% I managed to steal and plant Broc Flowers at least 5 times." Make sure there are no hostile geckos nearby if you do this, since the peaceful ones will turn hostile as well if you start a fight.
In combat, all normal and golden geckos will run for and eat any Iguana-on-a-stick or Meat Jerky dropped on the ground, attacking if they have any AP left. They will also pick up punching weapons like Spiked Knuckles and Power Fists! And then use them against you!
This is only the first of many quests, dialogues and details which will be unavailable if your Intelligence is less than 4. I won't bother to tell you about that any more, but I will note where there are special benefits or odd happenings to be gained from being stupid.
Find Vic the Trader
This won't happen for a little while yet. If you're curious, see the Den, quest 8.
Obtain flint to have Mynoc sharpen your spear
Talk to the guard by the bridge on the village perimeter. If you have at least PE 6 you can ask him about his spear, and he'll send you to your grumpy aunt to get some Flint. You can:
- Buy it from her in dialogue with 3 Healing Powder.
- Barter one Scorpion Tail for it.
- Ask nicely for it if you have at least Speech 51% and pass a skill check, 50 xp in this.
- Steal it.
- Get caught stealing twice and she'll give it to you.
If you got it by bartering, stealing or getting caught stealing you can still get the xp for using Speech, or even another piece of Flint by trading Healing Powder, but there's no use for two. When you return to Mynoc he turns one of your Spears into a Sharpened Spear, which is good. Better yet, drop all your Spears beforehand and he'll give you a new one. Tribals are kinda stupid.
Geoffrey Bateman reports a cheat with far-reaching applications: "When you talk to Aunt Morlis and try to get the Flint from her, get to the screen where you have the option of saying something like, 'Sure, I have 3 healing powders right here', then go to the barter screen, drop all your Healing Powders, go back to the talk screen, and select that dialogue option. You get the Flint without losing anything (the game only checks your inventory before displaying the dialogue option, not after you select it), then you just have to pick up your Powders. It also works with upgrading weapons. Just get to the screen where you choose the specific weapon to be upgraded, then switch to barter and drop the gun before selecting it to be upgraded; you'll get the upgraded weapon (full of ammo, of course) from the person, then you can pick up your non-upgraded gun. Unfortunately, this won't work with Algernon, who won't barter, so you have to pay for the upgrade to make this work. This trick might also be useful in situations where you pay someone through a dialogue choice, like paying Metzger for Vic: drop all your money, then 'pay' him, pick up your money..." You can get all four combat implants for free in Redding this way, for one thing, as long as you carry $30,000 and one suit of Combat Armor. Sebastian Cassten who also told me about the trick notes that you can use it to keep quest items (such as the above-mentioned Flint), although this will appeal exclusively to item hoarders.
Kill the evil plants that infest Hakunin's garden
Talk to Hakunin and agree to kill the plants, or just go and kill them. They shouldn't be too much of a problem. You gain 100 xp. Report back to Hakunin for 2 Healing Powders, and he will now be able to concoct Healing Powder if you give him a Broc Flower and a Xander Root. Since it's possible you won't return here, scout the hunting grounds until you have an equal number of roots and flowers, then turn them all into powder. Do keep any roots and flowers you find in the future, though, since you'll get another chance to make use of them (and until you get the first dream sequence you can always return and enlist Hakunin's skills again).
The ranged attack of the plants is considerably less dangerous than their bite (plus they run out of spikes pretty quickly), so a good gardening technique is to hit them once, run away two hexes and end turn, then move in and repeat.
If you have negative karma or if you've offended Hakunin, he'll offer this quest as a way of making amends. In the former case you still have to get your karma to 0 or better before he will give you the reward. In the latter case, keep insulting him until his reaction level drops so low that he forgets he's mad at you (bug). After that he'll offer normal dialogue, although the talking head looks none too happy.
Retrieve the GECK for Arroyo
This won't happen for a long while yet (unless you're using stupid short cut techniques). You gain 4000 xp when you first lay hands on a G.E.C.K.
Klamath is a quiet, out-of-the-way town, but can seem like something of a metropolis to someone who's used to huts and tents. Read the notice board to get a feel of what's going down. You can also talk to the town greeter, but he wants cash and it's a waste unless this is your first game... and it's not, is it? :) For some reason he carries a Molotov Cocktail which you can steal and throw at him for a laugh. Or not.
In Klamath you find your first shops, one in the Golden Gecko and one at the Buckners' place, which both restock every 2 days. The Gecko is a rough place where trappers hang out (you need a low or middling town reputation to crash here), while Buckner House is a tad friendlier. Things you should buy include all 10mm AP, perhaps some Healing Powder if you don't have about 10 or so of those already, and the Leather Armor if you can afford it (especially if you're playing a mêlée character, since there won't be much else to invest in for quite a while). Stimpaks are in all likelihood not worth the price right now. Sajag at the Golden Gecko will give you a discount if you're charming enough, or if you just keep bugging him about it. If you rent a room at either establishment you're essentially paying $25 to rest 8 hours and recuperate HP equal to four times your Healing Rate, while NPCs aren't healed at all. I'd practice my healing skills instead.
Shops usually restock every 2-4 days, randomly decided (exceptions will be noted in the walkthrough). It won't happen while you're on the same map (though sometimes if you talk repeatedly to a shopkeeper they may reveal a weapon they were holding back for personal use), and also items won't accumulate endlessly. Items that a storekeeper keeps in regular stock will fluctuate in number (and choice items may not appear at all), but anything else you sell them will remain. Usually when you kill a shopkeeper, their inventory appears on their corpse even if you couldn't steal it off them previously, but not always. Of course, if you kill Maida Buckner or Sajag you'll have to fight the rest of Klamath as well.
Most shops in the game restocked significantly less often in v1.0, typically every 1-2 weeks. The patch notes only mention they get money more often, but it goes for the rest of their inventory as well.
You never lose anything by converting unwanted items into cash, so you should take every opportunity to do so. This is because your items always sell for the same value; Barter levels, discounts and so on all affect the prices of the other party's goods. But one of their dollars always trades for a dollar's worth of equipment. This is also useful to know when you're buying something expensive and can't carry all the junk you'd like to trade in for it; just pay in cash, and then trade in stuff for that cash at your leisure. Note however that most shopkeepers restock money along with their other wares, at which time any amount of cash in excess of what they usually carry will disappear.
This isn't going to bother you for some time yet, but your inventory can't display any more than $99999 in cash. Don't fret though, it's all there; the dialogue interface shows up to seven digits, and the variable itself can in fact go over 2 billion. If you're bothered you can keep $99999 in your inventory, $99999 in your trunk, $99999 on Sulik, $99999 on Cassidy, $99999 in your favourite bookcase, $99999 in the skeleton in the radscorpion caves beneath the raider hideout... you get the big overall general picture.
In Buckner House a tribal-looking person by the name of Sulik is standing about. Turns out he was looking for his sister (who was taken by slavers), but got drunk in Klamath, wrecked the place and is working off his tab. If you talk to Maida Buckner, you can offer to pay the $350 Sulik owes, and he'll then join your party if you want to. Do this in conversation with Sulik, though, because then you get 500 xp that you won't get if you pay the money directly to Maida. There's a better way to free Sulik: see quests 2 and 6 below. It's a good idea to do this as early as possible when you come to Klamath, so you can have Sulik tag along. This isn't one of those stupid games where experience is divided among party members! The first thing you should do is take Sulik's Leather Jacket and wear it yourself to look cool.
IN<4: If you want to get Sulik you must offer to pay his debt the very first time you talk to him. Always choose the second line in this conversation, and eventually you gain 500 xp and Sulik if you want him (and providing your CH is not 1, of course). Since stupid characters don't get to do quests 2 or 6 this is your only chance to get him!
Sebastian Cassten notes that you can repeatedly pay the sum for Sulik's release by asking Maida about the Den. Basically you're paying to increase your town reputation.
There's a dog around. Talk to it, and if you feed it some Meat Jerky you'll gain a Trapper Town Key and the dog will follow you around the map (for as long as you don't leave the map it will actually be your ally in any fight you start here). Strange thing for a dog to be chewing on, really. Don't talk to the dog until you have something to feed it, or you may end up having to fight it (running off the map will calm it; if you kill the dog you don't get the key).
Visit Vic's old shack in the northeastern part of the map and get (among other things) his Radio. It will come in handy later on. In your first game, using the Pipe Rifle will probably seem like a really cool idea, but it's not very efficient, so save your ammo until you have the 10mm Pistol. Or if Small Guns is your only decent combat skill, might as well snipe rats in Trapper Town until you find the 10mm Pistol. Good, cruel fun.
You can sleep with the women in the bathhouse, if you pay that is. Sally won't talk to you if you double-crossed the Duntons at the pastures, but you're not missing much. One of the girls, Jenny, is a friend of Vic's. Talk to her (you don't have to sleep with her first) and she'll put the Den on your world map. Maida Buckner, Sajag and Whiskey Bob can all do this, too.
IN<4: If you're stupid, conversation with the simpleton Torr takes on a most interesting character. He can put the Den on your map if you ask him about Vic before accepting quest 3. He'll also offer free accommodation (same effect as described above), but not until after you've accepted or declined the quest, and since Torr doesn't return to the town map if you finish quest 3 properly a stupid character wouldn't normally get that option anyway.
The wicked Dunton brothers live in a house north of the square. At night they walk over to the Golden Gecko, which means you can loot their house. Pick the door as well (need Lockpick 70%). Talking to people and doing some of the quests below, you find out the Duntons are really scum. You can confront them about stolen cattle, but sadly there's no way of turning them in, and if you talk them into a fight the whole town including the Buckners will join in on their side. Attacking and killing the Duntons won't turn the rest of the town permanently hostile, though, so if you lock the door before attacking you'll be able to end combat afterwards and nobody will carry a grudge (running to an exit grid will have the same effect).
The Duntons will each spawn a Spiked Knuckles in their first combat round unless they already have one. You can make this happen just by entering combat mode and clicking turn, then using Steal to get them, and repeat.
The first Dunton you kill will carry their "shop" inventory (which is pretty pointless and restocks only every 3 weeks) unless you did it on the brahmin pastures map. If you kill one of the Duntons, the other one will have disappeared after you leave the map and return. For instance, if you assassinate one then immediately talk to the other and take the rustling job, none of them will show up on the pastures map which means you cannot finish the quest.
If you try to search the bookcase while they're in the house or if they see you in the side room, the Duntons will attack immediately. Usually though, possessive critters will give you one warning that you should stay away from certain containers, doors or exits. To do this they must be able to see you, so you can try Sneaking, or positioning yourself out of their line of sight. If you have NPCs you can use them as cover, as they seem to block line of sight completely for this purpose. However, don't blame me if these critters have a double take and come for you later!
Early in the game you may want to save before picking any important door if your Lockpick skill is not too high. A critical failure will jam the lock, which then cannot be opened until the next day, i.e. when the clock reaches 0.00 (though you can use lockpick items on a jammed door). At least you never have to worry about Lockpicks breaking. Should you ever be disappointed that unlocked doors don't give you any xp, you can instead lock them for 25 xp. Great fun, eh?
Trapper Town is the western part of Klamath. Go up the passage between the two large buildings, then through a door to the right, and you'll find Slim Picket who will train you in Outdoorsman if your skill level is 28% or lower (so if you steal the Scout Handbook from a kid nearby, don't read it yet). If he says something about your tribe being "mostly farmers", just try again. This will add a percentage number equal to double your Intelligence (but not less than 7). He'll ask either $50 or $100 depending on town reputation, but due to a glitch you actually get money instead of losing it. If you turn him down after he states his price you won't get another chance.
It turns out Slim's shut off access to the northern part of the area due to rat encroachment. To pass the locked door, you can:
- Pick the door for the usual 25 xp.
- Steal the key from Slim.
- Barter for it (will cost you $1).
- Use the key you got from the dog earlier.
- Convince Slim he should let you have the key (for any of several reasons).
- Sleep with him if you're a woman.
- Toss Aldo's Molotov Cocktail at the door.
- Take the key from Slim's cold, dead body.
- Get the key from Slim right away if your IN is below 4.
If you're a woman and tell Slim you'd "give anything" to get the key, the lines of dialogue you get are messed up. What they do is, respectively: agree to his proposal, back up the dialogue, and leave dialogue. If you should select the first by mistake you can console yourself with the fact that the script never calls the sex procedure, so technically speaking there's just a fade-out...
So much for security. Wend your way through the complex to the north (picking up the boots and ammo from the lockers) until you find a hole in the floor, and climb down. You'll now find yourself fighting through three cavernous levels with pretty much rat in them. Several minor items are hidden on the ground including a Sledgehammer, there's a 10mm Pistol (probably your first half-decent weapon) on a trapper corpse and a Combat Knife in the rat nest, and you can find a Tool by a scattered robot corpse in one corner. Near the southwest corner of the second (lowermost) level there's a caved-in section; move the mouse around above the big pile of bones and you'll find some 10mm JHP ammo.
Behind a locked door (use the Dynamite on the shelf if your Lockpick is not up to it, 70% should be enough) you'll find a ladder up, leading to a part of Trapper Town which was previously inaccessible. Take the Nuka-Cola from the ground and loot the fridge to the northeast, but most importantly walk over to the car and pick up the Fuel Cell Regulator, which is worth 200 "invisible" xp.
Near the car there's a working Nuka-Cola machine. Use a coin on it and you get a Nuka-Cola, and possibly hit for 1-2 points of damage by the violently ejected bottle. There are plenty of these machines in the game (working and broken ones have different descriptions), and you can get 15-30 bottles from each before they run out of stock. A Nuka-Cola trades for more than $1... but as a rule you'll want to convert equipment into cash rather than the other way around. However, Nuka-Cola is an ingredient for making Super Stimpaks later on, so you may want to keep this in mind, though chances are you'll have plenty more than you'll ever need anyway. Strangely enough, these machines replenish their stock every 1-7 weeks.
If you can't find the 10mm Pistol it's probably because you left the rat caves in order to rest up, during which time the corpse disappeared leaving the gun obscured by the remaining pool of blood. While bodies decay in mere hours if you leave a map and return, blood is quite persistent and can literally remain for years. The specifics of blood decay are not known to me, but it appears to depend on time as well as the number of times the map has been entered.
On the floor of the first level of tunnels there are Rocks. Rocks, man, Rocks! Here is the Rock challenge: how many Rocks can one gather through the course of a game, without resorting to recurring random encounters? I'll keep you up to date on the Rock situation...
Refuel the still
Talk to Whiskey Bob at Buckner House and he'll ask you to refuel his still in the woods (you have to buy him a drink first for $5, though if you have IN 7 you can recoup your loss by making him give you the 2 Booze he's carrying). He'll offer $50; if you ask for more he'll tell you $65 if you pass a Barter check, but only give you $55 when you're done (scripting glitch). Go to the southeastern exit grid into a wooded area full of geckos. Make your way down to the shack to the southwest, grab one of the Firewood heaps and use it on the still for 100 xp. When you return to Bob, he'll give you your agreed-upon monetary reward. Because the golden geckos can be a definite pain and because of the issue of pelts, you may not want to do this until you've got both Sulik and the Gecko Skinning perk (see below). If you feel like it you can reveal the location of the still to Sajag for $50 and a Beer (and 100 xp, though it doesn't appear in the message window), after which Whiskey Bob won't much like you any more. You must do this before you collect your reward from Bob, so you have to choose your allegiance. You can ask Sajag to tell you about his booze connections in the Den, but it doesn't do anything once you get there.
This is one of the few timed quests in the game. Like the man says, you need to refuel the still within a day or you don't get any xp from doing so, but you can go to Sajag after Bob gives you the what for.
Whiskey Bob won't talk to you if your town reputation is Neutral and your karma is -3 or worse. To remedy this all you have to do is nudge your town reputation in either direction, which should be easy enough (buying a round of drinks will do it). This is the result of a bug: he was supposed to snub you off if you have a negative town reputation, but instead the script checks the global variable with the same identifier as the current Klamath town reputation.
Here you may run into your first golden geckos, who radiate you when they hit you. I would suggest you don't use any RadAway before leaving Klamath and the Toxic Caves altogether, since we're not talking high levels of radiation. See the end of the Character Design section for more detailed info on radiation. Under most circumstances you should be perfectly safe not taking any RadAway before you get to the doctor in Vault City (or ever, barring some extreme happening such as ending up in the Toxic waste dump repeatedly).
Rescue Smiley the Trapper
Ardin Buckner's fiancé is missing. She'll put the Toxic Caves on the world map for you and ask you to find Smiley. Do so (see the Toxic Caves section), and she'll reward you with either Sulik's freedom (you get 500 xp although it doesn't show in the message window) or $100. Talk to Smiley afterwards and he'll give you the Gecko Skinning perk and, if you talk to him again and ask him about gecko hunting, a random Outdoorsman rise from +1% to +6% (save and reload if you're greedy). If he says you already know more about hunting than he does, persist and you'll get the bonus anyway. If you have Gecko Skinning, every gecko you kill (except the fire variety) will have a pelt in it which you can grab and sell. Should Smiley perish then Ardin won't talk to you any more if you tell her.
You can get double xp for this quest if you get the location of the caves from Mrs Buckner but say you can't help her. Then go and rescue Smiley. When you return to Klamath Ardin will still be talking about him, so you can accept the quest, go to the caves and rescue Smiley again, then go back to Klamath for your reward. There will be two Smileys in Klamath, each of which will give you training. For this to work, you cannot enter the Toxic Caves in between saving the first Smiley and reactivating the quest, not even by saving and loading the game. Also you may want to avoid talking to the first Smiley directly after getting the quest, since he will then start following you around Klamath thinking you're in the caves.
Sebastian Cassten adds: "You can actually gain 1000 xp for recruiting Sulik. First do one of Ardin's quests and ask either for no reward or for Sulik's freedom so that you get 500 xp. Now before going to Maida, talk to Sulik. You will notice that he isn't free yet ('cause you haven't talked to Maida). You can now if you want to pay the 350 bucks for an additional 500 xp reward." This does not work in v1.0, however.
If you agree to search for Torr before you get the quest to find Smiley, you must resolve quest 6 before you can get this one.
Torr who's not so smart wants help guarding his herd of cattle from "bugmen" who come at night. Don't talk to him until you're ready, because he'll only ask you once (but see quest 4 for an additional way of getting this quest). Agree to help and you're teleported to a wooded area where the brahmin are to be found. A radscorpion appears, which you should be able to take out easily. Is this the truth behind Torr's insectoid bugmen, I wonder? Nearby there are several more, if you kill every one of them you'll have completed this quest for 250 xp, but if you want to switch to quest 4 instead, don't kill them for now.
There's another, less obvious way of finishing this quest. Two shady figures are standing to the west of Torr's camp, namely the Dunton brothers. Approach them and they'll ask you for help stealing the cattle (this will activate quest 4). Agree to do so, but then tell the Duntons to call off the plan (Speech check needed), after which they run off. This gives you the same 250 xp and +50 karma as above, although the message window doesn't show anything. Optionally kill the scorpions for combat xp.
In a shack to the southwest you can find a pair of Radscorpion Limbs, which have been used by the Duntons to masquerade as bugmen to get at Torr's cattle. Sadly there's no way to confront them about this (a snippet of such dialogue exists, but is unused), so the Limbs are worthless. Beware that once you leave this map you can't get back to it, so don't leave anything here and bring all the scorp tails you can carry.
Sebastian Cassten notes that after you scare off the Duntons you can tell Torr to run away as well (see quest 4). This will let you get quest 6, which is really supposed to happen only if you finish quest 4 instead. It also has the aesthetic effect of crossing out both brahmin quests in the Pipboy, although you never get the reward for quest 4.
It's possible to get xp for this quest twice. After you scare off the Duntons you can go to Torr and tell him you'll help guard the brahmin, which will reactivate the quest. Now kill the scorpions and leave and you'll get another 250 xp. This way you won't get quest 6, though.
Sebastian Cassten has also discovered that you can pull off both the above tricks by relying on a combination of script imperfections. Convince the Duntons to run off, then kill the scorpions. Talk to Torr, but instead of using the mouse to navigate through dialogue, keep it still. Press 2 and 1 to trick him. When dialogue ends, immediately click to talk to him again, and select option 1 this time. Now your goal is to run to the exit grid in combat mode; do this by using all but one of your AP each time, ending combat manually and hitting A a lot. You will be successful if you get there before Torr manages to disappear (which will be signalled by a fade-out).
Rustle the brahmin
Instead of scaring the Duntons away you can return to Torr and tell him to take off (they say you can knock him out, but this will rile the brahmin, and even if you do manage to beat him unconscious it won't let you finish the quest), then go back to the Duntons for 150 xp, $50 and 5 Meat Jerky, or you can decline the reward for somewhat less of a karma drop (but, karma is not much of an issue). Might as well clean out the scorpions afterwards, though you don't get any quest xp for doing so. This would have been a better idea than quest 3 considering quest 6 below, but since you can get that anyway this is mostly for nasty characters.
You can also get this quest by talking to the Duntons in town instead of Torr, providing you didn't go and get yourself a good town reputation. You only get one chance for each brother to ask for work, and once you ask, if you turn one of them down you don't get a proper chance with the other (see bug note below). Don't address them by name, since it may abort the work thread (which twin you're talking to is decided randomly each time). When you arrive at the pastures, you can talk to Torr and promise to help him guard the brahmin to activate quest 3, and then choose which one to complete as usual. Remember that once you tell Torr to take a hike, you can't finish quest 3 by killing the scorpions, and that if you kill the scorpions the Duntons will leave even if you didn't collect their reward yet. If you leave the pastures without completing either quest 3 or 4, you don't get quest 6 or any xp, so that just plain sucks.
If your Charisma is 10 when you enter Klamath for the first time, your town reputation will rise to the point where the Duntons won't offer you the rustling job. Arm-wrestling them once before asking will take care of this.
Killing Torr or any of the brahmin will set the quest to failed and cause the Duntons to run off. If you told Torr to run away and then attack the brahmin, you'll see a float over the invisible Torr after combat ends. This won't turn him hostile, though.
From WraithUV: "Saving and then loading the game after you've scared off Torr causes the Duntons to no longer speak to you. This makes both quests impossible to complete." This apathy also means you can steal from them happily and if you kill them they'll still be alive downtown, but obviously this is not the ideal outcome.
As found by Kwiatmen666 and figured out by Killap, completing this quest spawns a few new brahmin in the pen back of the Duntons' house which use Arroyo brahmin scripts. Attacking these will spell the end of your game.
If you talk to one Dunton about work in town and turn him down, then talk to the other and insist on helping them, the dialogue will proceed as if you were on the pastures map. You can agree to handle Torr; this won't take you to the pastures, though you can still get there by talking to Torr as usual. Or you can have a shot at spooking them, giving you the normal xp for that (they won't actually run anywhere), after which you can go with Torr if you want, finding the pastures empty except for brahmin and scorpions. Another bug found by Ryan P. Fialcowitz: "If you talk to the Duntons about work in Klamath prior to talking to Torr, Torr will disappear if you leave the map and come back."
Kill the rat god
Slim in Trapper Town will tell you about this. You'll know Keeng Ra'at when you see him on the second level of the rat maze. Perhaps Sulik should be with you for this? You get 300 quest xp for killing the royal rodent. Once you kill the rat you can't talk to Slim for training if you didn't already.
If you told Torr to leave his brahmin earlier, now's the time to make up for it! Go to Ardin Buckner and it turns out Torr is missing because he went to look for the brahmin. Finger the Duntons and offer to help (you only get one chance). Then go to the canyon area to the northwest. Torr is standing about near a mad robot. Kill the bot using hit and run tactics, scout the area (intriguing!), talk to Torr and then return to town (200 xp) and talk to Ardin again. As a reward, ask for Sulik's freedom (which is worth $350, plus you get 500 xp; also see the note for quest 2). If you ask for money, or if Sulik was free already, you'll get a measly $100 and substantially less karma.
There is no use for the Yellow Reactor Keycard in this game, despite numerous allegations, rumours and misunderstandings. It may be the seed of a quest which was not fully implemented, or perhaps it was simply meant to be a Yellow Pass Key, reflecting the Poseidon Oil connection. Interestingly, the card is not there in the unpatched game.
True to their name, these tunnels contain green ooze which will hurt you if you step on it. To be safe from harm, you and each party member must be carrying a pair of Rubber Boots in your inventory. Even then, sometimes the boots will randomly melt, leaving you vulnerable (1% for each step, happens to your party members as well), in which case you might want to reload since that's 2 points of damage for each step you take unless you wear Metal Armor or anything else that absorbs plasma damage. However, for the heck of it you may want to do a little voluntary goo stepping. If you step on the goo repeatedly without protection, you'll soon get a message that your feet begin to itch. Eventually (after 15 steps to be precise) it'll say: "Your feet burn and itch for a while, but then they feel better." A month thereafter you'll grow two extra toes, which you can amputate in Vault City... and find an obscure "use" for even further on. And yes, this is the only way to get the toes (I searched the scripts).
Power Armor protects against the goo as if you're wearing boots. Hardened and Advanced Power Armor do not (so you get the toes if you didn't already), but they nullify the damage. The boots have no effect on bad goo in other areas than this one.
Kill as many geckos as you need to in order to get past, and make sure to raid the locker for boots and stuff. Go down the ladder and make your way to the northeast (avoid the middle tunnel, it has the most geckos). There you'll find an elevator, a broken generator, and a trapper. If this is your first visit you probably won't be able to do much about the first two, so talk to the third (after raiding the locker on the wall, a container type which is easily overlooked). Once you bring him to the cave mouth, he'll make it on his own and you earn 1000 xp. Then after you've been to Klamath and got the Gecko Skinning perk you can return here and take out any remaining geckos.
Once you return here with a beefed-up Repair skill (or Vic), you'll be able to fix the generator (50-60% is recommended, a Tool won't provide any bonus). Next you'll have to use an Electronic Lockpick on the elevator door, or it won't open. Go down, kill the rocketbot, then loot, loot and loot to your heart's content: good ammo, a Bozar and a Combat Armor Mark II among other things. (Though the first time I got down here, I was disappointed the place was so small. I'd expected a full-blown base.)
In the unpatched version there was significantly less stuff down here: no Combat Armor Mark II, no Bozar, no Plasma Pistol, less ammo. Also you couldn't use the Electronic Lockpick MKII to open the elevator.
You'll want to kill the robot before it can take too many shots at you, which is where this little trick comes in handy. If you press and hold the A key as the game is loading a new area (such as when you get a random encounter on the world map), you'll enter combat mode and get the first turn before any monsters can react. Kind of a half-cheat which takes advantage of the game engine. Another time you may want to use this is in dialogues where you say things like "Eat grapeshot and die, scumbag". The other party always gets to initiate combat - that is, unless you hold the A key as you leave dialogue. In this particular case you can also use the trick to run past the robot before it can react; if you get to the doorway you'll be safe, even if there are NPCs in the robot's line of sight.
If you ever wanted to have your very own Robo Rocket Launcher, you can. What you must do is kill the robot with a critical hit to the head that does no damage (try using Flares, or maybe punching; Better Criticals is a must). Because of a bug this means you get no combat xp, but neither does the bot purge its inventory of special items you aren't really supposed to get your hands on. Next you must knock an NPC unconscious on the same hex occupied by the rocketbot (make sure it's not Vic, Myron or Goris, since they will freak out if looted while unconscious - assuming you care, that is), access their inventory, and finally click an arrow to select the robot. You should now be looking at two purple boxes representing one Robo Rocket Launcher and up to 18 rounds of Robo Rocket Ammo (which are equivalent to Explosive Rockets). This weapon has a very modest ST requirement and takes only half as many AP to fire as a normal Rocket Launcher, but it doesn't do nearly as much damage.
The Den isn't that much larger than Klamath (actually, in terms of game maps, it's smaller), but somewhat closer to the harsh realities of wasteland politics (or the lack of it). The Den is divided into two areas, eastern and western. Both are full of foggy chem reliants, who may sometimes attack you unprovoked. If you hurt them somewhat they run away so you don't have to kill them, or you can probably run away yourself and then end combat. Actually you can kill them with no karma drop or other consequences, but don't make a habit of it.
You can access the unimplemented Den area by pressing 3 when choosing your destination on the town map. You can whack Anna's double, get a Shovel from Smitty's evil twin's shack, and in case you're wondering, if you kill everyone here no one in the "real" Den will care.
One thing you should be aware of right away is that the kids who stand beside doorways outside Becky's, Tubby's, Flick's and Frankie's will all try to steal from you as you go by (their skill is about 65%). The two kids outside Ananias' house are the only exceptions. Running past them won't help as their steal action is instantaneous, even if you see them working their steal animation on the screen only after you're already safely past (and if you fail a PE check you don't even see the animation). You might be able to Sneak past them, or another trick is to enter combat mode, go past them and end combat. Thankfully they don't steal from your party members. If you don't want to bother with entering combat mode, simply walk up to the kids you need to pass, let them try to steal, then use your own Steal skill on them one at a time to see if they got anything. If they did, use Steal on them repeatedly to get it back; they won't run off to sell the item until you move away, and if they catch you, nothing happens. You'll then be safe from these specific thieves for 1-5 minutes (usually enough time to be in and out of the building). If you don't get an item back, the kid will run to the nearest shopkeeper and fence it (those outside Becky's will cross the street to Tubby), in which case you'll have to trade for it if you want it back.
If the shopkeeper a specific kid would fence their stolen goods to is killed, the kid will just stand there accumulating items until you leave the map, whereupon their loot disappears. (It can get a little bizarre, looking at their inventory. A kid who can carry a couple of Bozars should be able to make a living doing something else, no?) If you kill the owner of an establishment, leave the map and return, the kid or kids outside that place will be gone. So if you kill Tubby but not Rebecca, the orphans outside the casino will remain but won't have any outlet for their acquisitions.
Every time you try to steal something and fail, people turn hostile and attack, right? So how come you don't get to flip out and kill people when someone fails a steal attempt on you? Oh well... If you kill one of the kids no one will react directly except for the other orphans, but being a Childkiller is very bad. Alternatively, you could attack a kid with a Plant Spike or something and then let your party members do the actual killing, in which case you won't become a Childkiller. A more fun and expensive way is to carry only a bundle of lit Dynamite and stroll innocently past the kids, hoping they'll take it off your hands (removing your armour helps). If they have time to sell it off, however, it will explode harmlessly in the shopkeeper's offscreen inventory. Lancelot thinks flipping out in moderation is in order: "If you punch a kid and then exit combat mode, that kid won't steal any more and from now on will run away upon seeing you. So leave your party members somewhere far (because otherwise they will follow you and kill the kid) and punch every thief in town to teach them a lesson." Mason Pearce favours aimed kicks to the legs for this purpose and additionally notes: "You can kill the orphans without getting Childkiller by dropping armed explosives beside them. They enter combat mode and run for a round, but you can end combat immediately and they walk back to where they were in time for the explosion." They may go for you instead of fleeing, in which case you have to hit them once before they think better of that.
If you don't have visible kids in your game, they'll still steal from you given the opportunity, but you obviously can't steal back. In this case you'll have to wait until your crucial item reappears in a shop, if and when you notice that it's missing. This can of course be extremely frustrating, especially if you have no idea about the kids in the first place, which would have been true for many European players (such as myself). Interplay's way of fixing the child "problem" may have included a minimum of effort on their part, but it's not very stylish.
Tubby and Flick sell some interesting weaponry, such as Hunting Rifles, .44 Magnum Revolvers and 10mm SMGs (all stuff may not appear in their inventory right away). You might want to consider the rifle for Vic, an SMG for Sulik and a .44 Magnum for yourself, but it probably means parting with lots of money in addition to whatever things you may have to barter. If you're not into guns you won't find much to invest in, sadly. You can kill both Tubby and Flick without pissing off anyone else (except Tubby's guards). Because you gain karma from Flick some people have concluded that this is a "good" thing, something with which I cannot agree. Nevertheless, killing them early on (bypassing Klamath, even) is a decent stupid short cut technique for those who like that kind of game. Tubby restocks in 1-2 days, Flick in the regular 2-4 days. If you ask Tubby about chems, you can pay him $100, or offer $50 and make a Speech check, or threaten him if you have ST 8 or the Presence perk. This puts Redding on your world map even though he doesn't mention the place.
In Becky's Casino you can buy drinks and of course gamble; one interesting thing is that the craps script contains no references to the Gambling skill, so it should work just as any real craps game. People have suggested various strategies to get rich at the craps table, but I can't be bothered to put them here. See the Redding section for less complicated ways of making money in a casino. Personally I never gamble in this game. Listen to Leanne talking about the Master for 350 xp. You'll have to buy her a Nuka-Cola for $5, but cheap xp can't be bad.
Rebecca won't talk to you at all if you're a Childkiller. When you buy whisky from her she actually tries to run up and use a Booze on you. If you move away you don't get anything to drink but she still takes your money!
If you're playing a female character named Buffy and wear any of the four types of leather armour, Rebecca will have a few "trinkets" for you: $1000, 5 Stimpaks, a Metal Armor, a 10mm SMG, 120 10mm JHP, a Plasma Grenade and a Flower. Isn't this what they call favouritism? You don't get the stuff if she's angry with you (because you smote kids or destroyed the still) or if you're stupid when you talk to her for the first time wearing leather armour.
War story: Player (level 2) manages to piss off Joey in conversation, runs into Becky's chased by thugs, and hides behind Rebecca. Joey fires at player and hits Rebecca, casino guard fires at Joey and hits gambler. Eventually gamblers and townspeople are fighting each other and guards, guards are shooting gamblers and thugs, and Joey gets killed by Rebecca while still trying to shoot player. Then guard misses and kills orphan outside, two orphans storm the casino and even score a critical hit before being gunned down by the guards. Meanwhile, a guard accidentally hits another guard, guards start shooting each other, and as one guard runs out the door the entire battle spills out into the street! A few more people are killed out there. Combat ends, one of the surviving guards turns and walks back into the casino, while five or six guards and casino patrons remain outside, most of them severely wounded. One gambler, standing out in the street, comments: "Damn, Becky's was the only place to gamble around here!"
Joey, one of the thugs south of Becky's, will try to sell you Jet for $500 apiece ($350 with decent Barter). No way! After you get quest 3, Joey will put New Reno on your world map. Female characters can sleep with him for no gain. If you do, he'll move up a bit on the screen to a place east of Becky's casino, and after you leave the map he'll disappear from the game entirely (this is actually a bug introduced by the patch). So just don't sleep with him.
The guy outside the Brotherhood building is just damn annoying. In my first game I assumed his dialogue (or lack of it) was bugged. His dialogue will make more sense if you are level 4 or lower, which probably means you're playing a stupid character. If you return here later when you have access to this kind of building, it is empty.
Buying rat food in Mom's will replenish 2-8 HP for $10 (or $5 if you're stupid), which is cheaper healing than the Stimpaks that Mom will restock every 1-5 days. You can listen to Stacy's story of her cat for 200 xp if you buy her a drink for $10. It's a horrible story actually, but cheap xp can't be bad.
It's important that you talk to Karl in Mom's. Don't give him money or booze unless you have to, or he'll pass out for a couple of hours. Just ask him to tell you his story. If you anger him, for instance by offering him Nuka-Cola, you'll have to give him $100, a Beer or a Booze before you can regain the story option. Once you've completed the Ghost Farm quest in a peaceful manner, return here and tell Karl he can go home for 500 xp. Or if you're evil you can drive him crazy for no xp.
If you attack Mom, some people in the Den will be upset about it. Karl will run from you randomly, but you can still talk to him. Frankie and Smitty won't talk to you, closing off any quest options remaining. Joey will be angry, but you can intimidate him and get the locket from him if you haven't already. Tubby was supposed to let you barter at a penalty, but due to a bug you'll get his normal prices unless you press the barter button directly after dialogue starts, in which case you get a discount (this only works if you're non-stupid).
If you give Karl $1000 and then immediately ask him about the G.E.C.K, he'll offer you $1000 to sleep with him if you if you have CH 8. How does he afford it? (You can also steal the money back when he falls asleep. If you fail he'll run away when he wakes up, but you can end combat and he won't be hostile.)
There's a prostitute in the Hole with whom male characters can sleep (with or without the rest of the party) for a random amount of cash. If your IN is below 4, she'll charge you $500 or $1000 and still say she doesn't get paid enough! Female characters can sleep with a male customer and charge him $50, or $200 if you pass a Speech check. If you're male and have Miria with you, you can let him have her for $50 the first time, then $200.
If you fancy being a Grave Digger you can use a Shovel on the graves in the graveyard (your karma will take a hit). Loot to be had includes:
- 12 Beer
- 1 Buffout
- 1 Jet
- 27 Rock
- 1 Rubber Boots
- 2 Throwing Knife
- 1 Knife
- 1 RadAway
- 24 10mm AP
- 1 Combat Knife
- 1 Flower
I don't list many of the numerous references in the game, but "R.E. Danforth's Non-Explosive Burning Fluid" is from a classic anthology of poems called Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. (It's also on a headstone in Nashkel in Baldur's Gate.) You may not find this specific headstone in the Den as the messages are distributed randomly between the grave markers in the Den, Redding and Golgotha when you enter the respective maps, although there are some that are always in the same place, such as the Winslow graves, Richard Wright, and so on.
Over at Metzger's place you can sell your companions into slavery (any human except for Vic). The funniest thing about this is that the rest of your party act completely oblivious. Metzger is the only slaver in the game whose prices are influenced by Barter, but he's bugged so that you get more money the lower your Barter skill. The base price, which you'll get if your Barter skill is about 90%, is 1100 for Miria, 900 for Davin, 800 for Myron, 1200 for Sulik and 1300 for Cassidy; at Barter 40% you'll get about 30% on top of this. Metzger has some minor stuff that he restocks every 1-5 days, and any items on sold NPCs will go into this shop inventory and remain there until next time he restocks, at which time they disappear.
If you want to, you can also become a Slaver. This will make you hated by many people you'll meet in the game (Sulik, Cassidy and Keith Wright being some of the most important), and the only real benefit is that you get to go on slave runs organized by Metzger. In these slave runs, you're teleported to a map where you have to kill a number of "unruly" candidates for slavery, then report back for payment: $100 for each living slave (usually amounts to around $1000). You also get 500 xp for the first slave run. Metzger will give you new jobs until your total number of captured slaves is 30 or more. This means that by killing all the slaves in a slave run you can go on doing this indefinitely, quickly becoming a Berserker and getting bad karma to last you a lifetime. Ho hum. Perhaps more importantly, if any of your fellow slavers dies (you can kill them yourself and Metger won't know), this lowers the total "slave count" by 7 so that you may go on slaving. Just watch out that the slave count doesn't drop below zero, or Metzger will renounce your services. If you leave a slave run without killing all of the armed slaves, Metzger will have you shot on return (well, he'll try anyway).
On the slave run map with tents there's a brown chest you can't open unless you have a good Steal skill, and if you do you get a message about stealing from the shaman's things. This is actually a script that was originally going to be used for Hakunin's chest.
Once you have a decent party, say, Sulik, Vic and Cassidy armed with Combat Shotguns or the like (which should be the case once you return for the car), you should go here and clean the place out. This will probably be a little harder for a mêlée character, but it is possible to win the battle at level 9 with Sulik and Cassidy armed with Spears. If you don't want to take on all the slavers at once, try locking them in. You get 1500 quest xp for killing Metzger and 1250 xp for telling the slaves he's dead. Rebecca will also give you $1000 as a reward for killing Meztger, but only if you make sure she understands it was you who killed him (choose the "put up a good fight" line, you only get one chance).
Because of how critter data is handled, chems used on one critter will affect all critters that share the same template. This means that if a slaver uses Psycho, all slavers will gain Damage Resistance, and if one of them uses Jet, all of them will gain AP. If you think this is cheating you can leave the map and return, or save the game and reload; doing so will cause the game to lose track of such changes. This feature can also be used in your favour if you ever have several identical people, e.g. caravan guards, fighting on your side. The game does properly keep track of drug effects on your party members.
If you did quest 6, then whoever you fought for - Marc and Tyler, or Lara and her three gangsters - will still have a green outline and will fight on your side against the slavers if you take the fight down to the church. Taxi Driver adds: "Tyler happens to be rendered with one of the 'player' animations, meaning he can use any weapon in the game. Add a bit of spice to the slaver fight by giving him a Bozar or Vindicator Minigun! He may not be good with it, but I think this is a really classy way to clear out the East Side. Marc can only use a few weapons, but he can use sledgehammers which means you could have a bit of fun by giving him a Super Sledge. You can also load them up with Super Stimpaks and performance-enhancing drugs (or use the drugs on them yourself before beginning combat)." Tyler seems to favour small arms, so if you give him a Bozar he may stick to his Desert Eagle. Also I couldn't get him to use a Gauss Rifle at all; he'd equip it but not attack with it. He did OK with a Gauss Pistol, though. It should work with Lara as well, but you have to give her the stuff after the church fight since her inventory is purged before the attack.
Kit relates a strategy for this battle: "You can kill Metzger and his band of slavers at level 3 with a bit of ease. I have done it on several occasions. What you do is go with Lara's gang to fight the guards at the church. Once in combat mode, hightail it to Mom's Diner. At the diner, there is a back room with windows looking out towards the Slaver's Guild. What I did was pick the slavers off from the window, and take cover to the side of the window so that the slavers cannot hit you back. Lara's gang eventually helps out, but they are underpowered." As long as you have the firepower and ammunition to take the slavers out you shouldn't need to involve the gang (also at that time of day the darkness will be working against you); the slavers will tend to gather around your first victim and won't come running around the diner.
PC and Björn Welin both claim that using Psycho for this fight works wonders even at low levels. Tubby will probably have a dose or two, Frankie has one but you'd have to kill him for it, and the guard outside of Vic's door has one you can steal. With your Damage Resistance maximized you'll usually only take a couple of points of damage per shot, if any. However, you'll still be hurt by critical hits. When testing this I found that I was slowly whittling the guards down while they used up all their ammo and finally started to run from me, so if you're alone and lack a way to deliver damage reliably this will still be a tedious project at best. PC also brings up stealing anything you can from Metzger and his people, while Björn Welin recommends using Jet in conjunction with Psycho on yourself and Sulik, reloading if you get addicted.
Pennyliu123 suggests stealing Metzger's Shotgun, locking the doors, and attacking through the window; only one or two of the slavers will be able to fire back at the same time, and if you step carefully between shots you may be able to stop them from returning fire at all. The Shotgun has a rather short range, though - shorter than the 10mm Pistols - so I'd prefer a Hunting Rifle for this method.
Sadly, Metzger won't react if you storm into his house flashing the Ranger Pin in your active item slot or if you try to push it up his nose. Nor does the Ranger map quest in NCR (about the "safe houses in the north") tie in with Metzger in any way.
Collect money from Fred
Talk to Becky, ask for work and offer to collect the debt. Fred can be found somewhere around, usually in Flick's house, looking like one of the other junkies (but identified as "a citizen of the Den"). You should demand $200 from him (you can do it even with mediocre IN and/or Speech, if you follow the conversation patiently) and once you do, you can let him keep $100 or $150 and return to Rebecca for $100 and 200 xp. If you let Fred keep any money at all, return after some time (either 3, 4, 5 or 6 months, randomly decided); he'll have used your money to get rich in Becky's casino, and rewards you with $2000, 200 Small Energy Cell, 250 Micro Fusion Cell and a Plasma Grenade.
You were supposed to get different rewards from Fred - $500, $1000 or the full $2000 plus stuff - depending on how much money you let him keep and what you said to him. However, a scripting glitch ensures you'll always get the best reward (the variable in question doesn't carry over to the "new" Fred). So it doesn't matter if you only let him keep $100 (which means you break even after you return to Becky).
You can give Rebecca $200 regardless of how things went with Fred, as long as you've at least entered dialogue with him after getting the quest. Of course, you won't get Fred's reward if he doesn't know you paid his debt. If Fred dies before you talk to him, you won't be able to get quest 2.
Get book from Derek
You get this quest from Rebecca next. The book is found on the ground in the east part of town, in any of four possible locations:
- In the graveyard, just east of the church.
- In the outhouse north of the Hole.
- Behind a wall just southwest of the car behind Metzger's.
- Beside a barrel south of the graveyard.
Return it to Becky for $80 and 300 xp. Derek is the guy standing directly outside Mom's, he too is "a citizen of the Den". He doesn't make a lot of sense and you don't even have to know he exists, it makes no difference for the quest.
Lara wants to know what is guarded in the church
Lara is the head of the punks on the west side. To complete this quest you must talk your way past the guards for 500 xp (700 xp if you do it before talking to Lara, 300 xp if you're a slaver), then examine the crates (500 xp) and report back for $200. If you don't make the Speech check you can bull your way in with ST 8. If all else fails, rest one hour and talk to Tyler again to get in, but then you won't get any xp for entering the church. Sneaking to get inside the church doesn't work, Marc will always spot you. If you get into a fight and kill off Tyler or Metzger before finishing this quest, you don't get any reward and it will terminate this chain of quests; the same is true for the next three quests.
Get permission from Metzger for gang war
Lara sends you to Metzger as an errand-boy (or -girl). Pretty straightforward, you get 200 xp and can return to Lara for $50.
Find weakness in Tyler's gang guarding the church
Simply go to the church and talk to Tyler to find out his gang is throwing a party, for 200 xp. If your CH is low, just keep trying. Give this information to Lara, but she won't give you any cash as yet.
Help Lara attack Tyler's gang
If you agree to go along for the fight, you'll find yourself outside the church. Lara will pay $400 for your help whether you actually fight or not. (If she's not alive at the end of the fight you can get the cash from her corpse.) It doesn't hurt to join in and try to grab as many kills (and thereby xp) as possible. You only need to kill the guard outside for the quest to finish, but go inside the church and continue the fight there.
There is another way to finish this quest. Tell Lara you need to prepare (you have until 6 a.m.), head over to Tyler and tell him about the plan, and he'll ask you to take out Lara instead when the time comes. Return to Lara for the attack but turn on her when the battle starts, taking the $400 from her corpse and earning $100 and 1000 xp from Tyler (for "helping Lara's gang to win the battle"). I wonder why you get bad karma from killing Lara instead of Tyler; I mean, aren't they both just random thugs? What, betrayal is bad? Oh well.
And, oh, two more somewhat counter-intuitive ways to finish the quest. One is to side with Lara, but then kill her entire crew before they can kill Marc. This earns you 1000 xp (again for "helping Lara") and the $400 from Lara's corpse, but no reward from Tyler (since he's not around). The fourth is to talk to Tyler as above and get to the fighting part, then take out Marc and Tyler even though they're green and Lara's gang is outlined in red. You then get 1100 xp for "successfully ambushing Lara's gang" (whee). Note however that if Lara is alive at this point she won't reward you, and the $400 won't be in her inventory (but if she died during the fight it'll be there as usual). It seems safe to assume that you were supposed to get xp from siding with Lara in the normal manner as well, but you'd have to kill Tyler for that to trigger, and you can't.
Whichever side you fight for, you can run off the map as soon as you're teleported to the east side, then return and collect your reward (money from either gang leader, and 1000 xp if you sided with Tyler). There won't be any bodies to loot, though (so no $400 from Lara if you sided with Tyler).
You may notice that where Marc and Tyler are standing there's a scenery object called "Floor" which interferes negatively with looting. If you try to click on a portion of a body which lies atop the floor you won't get the hand icon. You'll still be able to loot the body if there's a part that's sticking out from the floor thing. You may also be able to return once the body has decomposed and pick up the items (for some items like pistols you must wait for the blood to vanish as well). These floor things appear among other places at a New Reno casino entrance and the Vault 15 vault door, and carpets and haybeds may complicate looting as well.
Deliver a meal to Smitty for Mom
Mom will ask you to do this. Smitty will give you a Stimpak if you deliver the meal within 24 hours, and in any case you earn 150 xp and Mom will give you a free meal with pretty much rat in it which replenishes 5-20 HP. While you're there, ask Mom about vaults and she'll put Vault City on your world map.
Free Vic from his debt by getting his radio from his house in Klamath and paying Metzger
Pretty obvious what this is about. To get the guard outside Vic's door to let you through, you can:
- Talk to Metzger to get his permission.
- Ask nicely and pass a Speech check.
- Attempt a bribe, pass a Barter check and pay the guard $300.
- Pass the Barter check, tell him "Screw you" then nag him until he lets you in.
- Fail two Speech and/or Barter checks so he tells you to talk to Metzger, then nag him until he lets you in.
- Choose the "Meko veek" and "Seve" options if your IN is lower than 4.
- Become a Slaver.
- Have Science tagged or above 59%.
- Have Repair tagged or above 59%.
- Sneak-Lockpick the door.
Failing all this, think with portals or something. Talking to Vic solves Arroyo quest 2, though this isn't worth any xp in itself. Give him his radio (generic ones won't do). Return to Metzger and he will demand $1000 for Vic's freedom. If you're a woman with CH 6 you can sleep with Metzger to take $500 off the price, but nah. You should definitely make this investment unless you're going solo (or want an all-mêlée party). You can also free Vic simply by killing Metzger. Once he's free, Vic will put Vault City on your world map, and you get 200 xp for talking to him about being a trader. Then you can have him join your party.
Sabotage Becky's still
Go to Rebecca and ask for a drink so you know how much her drinks cost. Go to Frankie at the Hole, ask why his drinks cost more. He'll ask you to find out why Becky's drinks are so cheap. Return to Becky's, then wait until the guard by the door to the stairs goes over to the roulette table to talk to the female croupier (2-3 minutes, and you need to keep away from him). Pick the door, go downstairs and find a still. Return to Frankie for $100 and 400 xp, and he'll give you this quest. You can now tell him to buy his drinks from Rebecca for 900 xp, or else you can grab the nearby Crowbar and take it to the still (you can actually save yourself a couple of trips by doing this before even getting your first assignment), return for $500 and 700 xp, and then you can tell him to buy whiskey from Rebecca for 900 xp (but you have to do it in the same conversation). If you break the still Becky won't talk to you (or let you gamble), so don't do this until after she rewards you for killing Metzger.
3-7 days after you destroy the still, Becky will have repaired it (but you need to leave and enter the map once to start the timer, and again for the still to be fixed (and a third time for the still to actually look whole, but never mind that)). This doesn't do much except you can't report back to Frankie unless you destroy it again. A small detail is that if you tell Frankie to buy his whiskey from Rebecca, his price will drop from $20 to $6 after the still is rebuilt and if Rebecca's alive.
A v1.0 bug discovered by Deep Black: if you tell Frankie about the still and then conclude the quest by telling him to buy Rebecca's liquor or saying you won't destroy the still, Rebecca will accuse you of having done so even if you haven't.
Get car part for Smitty
Smitty in the junkyard has a car to sell you, only it doesn't work. Bring a Fuel Cell Controller (which you can get later) and he'll install it and give you the car for only $2000. If you have the Fuel Cell Regulator from Klamath, he'll install that too for $750, and the car will need 50% less fuel. Once you install the Controller you may want to trade for Smitty's Micro Fusion Cells (you'll likely have surplus weaponry at this point), which he restocks every 3-5 days.
You can actually get the car without paying Smitty! Thing is, first you have to kill him. Then, use the Fuel Cell Controller on the car. If your Repair skill is high enough (110% will do, keep trying until you make it) you'll install it successfully. Unfortunately you can't install the Fuel Cell Regulator by yourself, so this is a pretty desperate measure.
If you use any item on the car before buying it, Smitty will come running out of the shack waving his arms and ask what the hell you think you're doing. If you do it again after that, he'll turn hostile! Needless to say this hurts your game pretty much (though you can Sneak up to him and talk to him to buy the car anyway). In my very first game I managed to do this with Smitty up in the shack, so I never noticed, and because I had only one save slot I had to replay the entire game up to this point. So, rule of thumb: don't touch other people's cars.
At any time you buy an item or a favour from someone with money, see if it's possible to barter or (if you're that kind of person) steal it back, assuming you're carrying stuff you don't really need. Sometimes the money just disappears, though.
In v1.0 you can get the car without having the part, though you still have to pay the $2000. Just ask Smitty what he does, then again about the car and you'll get the option to buy it. There's also a bug where if you leave the map on foot after getting the car, it disappears permanently, leaving the trunk.
Return Anna's locket
Now this is a weird one. The Great Ananias in the southern building in the west part of town will tell you about a ghost in the next room. Go there between midnight and 4 a.m., and you'll notice a shimmering figure. Bring out the Scooby snacks! "Talk" to the ghost and make sure you learn she's looking for her stolen locket. Go to Mom's for clues, she'll point you toward Joey. Confront him and either scare him with Anna's revenge (IN 6 needed), pay him ($50, or $20 with good Barter), threaten him (ST 5 and a Speech check, if you fail he'll attack), or kill him, and you'll get the locket. Return to Anna and give her the locket for 250 xp. It's so beautiful... Look what just materialized all over the carpet. Grab the bones, bring a Shovel (by coincidence there are two in this very room) and head over to the cemetery, where you'll find Anna's grave. Dig it up (once you've talked to Anna it won't make you a Grave Digger), put the bones in it and use the shovel again to cover it up for 1200 more xp (message window will say 600).
Jörgen Thuresson adds: "You can kill the ghost in the Den. All you need to do is to cause a massive critical above a certain threshold. I did this once when I was fooling around and started shooting with my .44 Magnum. It was hilarious! Anna did the overkill animation and the body stayed around the clock. I was laughing my head off at the time. My locket! Mine!" Those massive crits are the ones that bypass armour; further investigation shows Anna has no resistance to plasma damage. Killing her has no special effect except triggering a little bug that removes a couple of unimportant dialogue options to ask people about Vic.
You can take the locket to the ghost in the unused Den area, and get Anna's Bones that way... but then you'll have the "real" Anna hanging around forever. Or you can give the locket to either ghost, quickly steal it back and give it to the other, and you'll have two bags of Anna's Bones which you can bury one at a time for a total of 2900 xp... This is cheating, of course.
The ghost is something of an anomaly in the Fallout world. There were mental powers in the first game, but such things are by many considered viable in science fiction. Weird science aside, there aren't many examples of the blatantly supernatural in these games (unless you count those special encounters which are meant as obvious jokes). Seymour the talking plant and Hakunin dream sequences come to mind.
Modoc is your average farming community. Although only Ed in Vault City will light it up on your world map, normally you'll come across it en route to that place. Jo has a pretty pointless shop on the left that restocks every 2-3 days (he'll get some more stuff if you trigger any of the Slag endings). If you're mean you can use Sneak to loot the shop clean. Stuff will actually keep spawning in the bookcase if you kill Jo.
Grisham who owns the slaughterhouse will ask you to guard his brahmin herd against wild dogs (he'll do this as you end the conversation). If you agree to it, you're teleported to the pastures. Ten dogs will appear from the north and pick a cow to gang up on. You need to kill all the dogs to complete the quest. Grisham will pay you $1000 minus $100 for each brahmin killed, and you get 250 xp to boot - except if you saved all the brahmin, in which case you get the money, but not the xp nor any town reputation increase (bug). Even if you have Sulik and Vic it can be tough to keep every single cow alive; usually the dogs will kill one or two brahmin, then turn on you or an NPC. Since the dogs probably have a higher Sequence than you, it helps to run up a bit and then enter combat mode as quickly as possible, so that the dogs have to waste their "double turn" running. It doesn't matter really, since you're close to the point where money stops being an issue in this game.
Warlord has a strategy which is a lot like mine: "You should have a Frag Grenade by now, so you throw it on the largest pack of dogs. The aim is to turn as many of them against you as possible. Then every turn you shoot some new ones - they will let the brahmin be and turn against you. If you have Sulik and Vic you should manage to kill them without serious problems. This way you can save all the brahmin." Just, well, try to get one of them killed at least.
If you don't manage to save a single brahmin (which happens if you leave the map without killing the dogs), things get a little buggy. Every time you talk to Grisham after that he'll demand $1500 from you. If you have IN 6 you can tell him they weren't worth that much, but this may trigger another bug which sends you back to the pastures, and paying him has no effect in any case.
South of the slaughterhouse you'll find an injured brahmin called Bess. Use Doctor on her (try until you succeed if your skill isn't below 25%, a Doctor's Bag won't do the trick) for 200 xp. She'll follow you around the town for as long as you don't enter any of the two underground areas, or enter any map outside of Modoc. If you bring her to Grisham, you can put her up for... slaughterhouse treatment (karma -5). Bess will be moved to the cattle pen north of the slaughterhouse. You can either go and talk to her, have second thoughts and open the gate to let all the cattle out (karma +10, but your town reputation will drop), or return to Modoc some time later for 100 Meat Jerky stored in a crate in the slaughterhouse. Your choice.
There may be other brahmin in the pen; if so, when you try to let them out they'll probably jam in the gate, being 2-hex critters. Placing yourself or a party member on one side of the gate helps them manoeuvre. After you release the brahmin, there will be a special encounter waiting for you somewhere in the wilds around Modoc...
If you leave the map after Bess gets out of the pen but before she gets off the map, she'll disappear and you don't get the karma rise or the reputation drop, and I don't see what would be the point of that.
Irrespective of your gender you can sleep with either Miria or Davin in Grisham's house if you have at least Charisma 8 (CH 7 with a positive town reputation). Grisham will walk in on you and wonder what's going on. If you have a decent Speech skill and slept with a person of the opposite sex, you can tell him a yarn about a medical examination and he'll buy that... or else, it's time for a little shotgun wedding. Congratulations, you just earned the Married reputation and an NPC you can't get rid of (in the normal way, at least). In any case you have to pick up all your stuff from the floor, which can be damn annoying if you have like 200 Stimpaks, so a good idea would be to put your equipment on your NPCs or in the nearby bookcase before you go knocking on anyone's door. Miria and Davin are both absolutely useless as NPCs and can't level up, so you shouldn't marry any of them, unless you're evil and plan to sell them into slavery. However, you should save and try it once just to see the shotgun wedding... hilarious!
There's a nasty bug here you have to look out for: if you sleep with Miria or Davin and don't follow through with the wedding, your party members stop following you; they will come with you from map to map but stay rooted except in combat mode. This can be fixed by either of the following: 1) Getting married. 2) Having the Val/Vic conversation in Vault City. 3) Watching the Vault 13 video sequence. 4) Watching the Brotherhood video sequence in SF. Note that even if you don't have any party members at the time, you will still experience the effects of the bug if you should ever pick up any.
More bugs: If you assassinate Grisham before sleeping with Miria or Davin, the game will freeze when he's supposed to walk in on you. If you assassinate Jo (or if he died fighting the Slags) the game will freeze as it tries to arrange the wedding ceremony. Another bug will strike if you sleep with a person of opposite gender and pull the doctor stunt, and Grisham is blocked from leaving the room so that he ends up moping in a corner. If you then sleep with either of them again there will be a permanent blackout. It's quite possible there are other combinations of circumstances here which lead to the same kind of problem.
If you pick Miria, don't choose the "you know you want it" dialogue - even though it's not clear from the wording, you'll rape her and turn the townspeople hostile! Even stranger, female characters can do this too.
You get your new spouse for an NPC even if you're already at your NPC limit, but remember, if you then kick someone out you can't get them back again unless you kick another one out in their stead (and you cannot disband your spouse). Miria will gain 2 Antidotes and 4 Stimpaks after you marry her, Davin 1 Tool and 2 Stimpaks.
After you are married you will no longer be able to guard the brahmin or sell Bess if you didn't do that already. If you get Separated from your spouse, and then return to Grisham and tell him you think he or she is dead, he'll have a heart attack and die. I'm not sure this does anyone any good.
At the Bed & Breakfast in the north part of town you can order some interesting meals. You can break the record eating brahmin fries and get slightly poisoned. If you order a glass of water for $1000 (you can steal the money back), you get a Cookie with it. Eating a Wasteland omelet for $25 will restore your HP to full and cure poisoning. If Cornelius should die, Rose won't talk to you any more.
You'll hear rumours of a mystery chicken cooped up beside the inn... surrounded by a chainlink fence and guard dogs? This is begging to be investigated. Pick the door and kill the dogs once they attack; when that happens, sometimes traders nearby attack too, so you may want to be careful about this. If you don't want to fight the dogs you can open the door and leave the map; they'll be gone when you return. Also if you set off the toilet explosion the door in the fence may come ajar and the dogs will disappear. If you have ST 8 you can move the rocks in front of the door for 100 xp (I suppose Rose does this every time she goes to collect eggs), otherwise you'll have to plant some explosives. Open the door and step inside. That's some chicken. Since you've gone through the trouble of breaking in, kill it for the combat xp (if you can), but after you do, there'll be no more omelets available, naturally.
If you open the door to the henhouse but leave the map without killing the... um, chicken, it will kill everyone on the map, including idle NPCs! And if you ever come back, it will hunt you down... Oddly enough this does not affect your town reputation.
Farrel has a rodent problem in his garden. Remove the infestation
Farrel lives to the southeast of the B & B. He'll want you to kill some rats for him for 300 xp and no cash. The rats in question are more dangerous than most because some of them poison and radiate you if they hit you... so send in your NPCs who are immune to that sort of thing and use ranged weapons yourself. Look, free Rope for use with the town well.
If it seems like you've killed all the rats but the end of the quest hasn't triggered, look for extra rats in the woods to the right or off the edge of the map. More than once, however, I've been unable to finish this quest because a rat simply wouldn't show up. There should be six big ones and five small ones. Save before accepting the quest to be safe.
If you don't wrap this quest up at once you may find that you killed all the rats but cannot tell Farrel you did, or that you can report success even though you didn't actually complete the task. This is because the butcher on Main Street uses the same flag that keeps track of whether you killed all the rats. To set the rats to killed, go to Main Street and rest until evening, watching for the butcher's float that signals the end of his workday, then return to Farrel; to have the rats set to non-killed so that you can return to the garden, visit Main Street in the day.
Cornelius has lost his gold pocket watch. Find it and return it to him
Cornelius and Farrel aren't friends any more because Cornelius accused Farrel of stealing his watch. Cornelius is actually a wee bit senile but will give you this quest if you tell him he "needs serious help". On a hunch, head over to the toilet, open it and climb down. You'll arrive in a dung-ridden cave, blocked to the north by rubble. Plant some Dynamite (set it for 3 minutes, it doesn't really matter) in front of the rubble and use the ladder. Yes, this is the fabled "toilet explosion". Har! You just redecorated half of Modoc in a very creative manner, earning 500 xp in the process. Return down the ladder, go north, fight a lone rat and search its nest... for Cornelius' Gold Watch, and also a Shovel (that and the rake must be the lost tools Farrel was talking about), a Fruit, and a useful Bag! Now go back to Farrel or Cornelius, give either of them the watch and say the rat had it for 1500 xp.
The placement of your Dynamite determines whether you take damage or not in the explosion as well as whether the rocks are cleared. Firstly, to trigger the toilet explosion proper the blast must "touch" the pile of rocks (being within 2 paces or so). Secondly, you and any NPCs will take damage if you're within the blast radius when you climb the ladder (the game always detonates explosives when you leave a map, hence why the timer wasn't important). If you're alone, you can easily avoid damage by setting the Dynamite as close to the rocks as possible, and if a party member is standing too close, prod him or her away before using the ladder. Saving first is of course recommendable in any case. It is actually possible (though unlikely) to survive the explosion if you stay down in the hole and hug a corner as the Dynamite goes off, but you might have difficulties with party members who insist on staying in the middle of the room ("Vic was hit for 6772 points of damage and was killed." Whee). If you do this, you still have to exit the toilet and go down again for the rubble to disappear, so there's nothing to be gained.
After the toilet explosion the Bed & Breakfast map switches to a new one altogether, which means that any items dropped here or put in containers (other than the lost and found box) will be lost. Dropped-off NPCs will manage the transition, though, with the exception of Laddie. This also means there are twelve new Rocks on the ground, a Spear by the junk heap and a new Shovel lying over at the stables. Also note there are Rocks down in the toilet and the mole rat cave (you won't find all of them unless you know exactly where they are). Collect them Rocks.
If you're having trouble finding the Bag, look at the lower tip of the crescent formed by the rat's nest. The Bag has the same graphics as a bag of coins, and the little brown "flag" is just visible above the pile of trash.
Farrel wants you to find Cornelius' gold pocket watch. Find it and return it to Farrel
If you talk to Farrel he'll also ask you to find the watch, and doing so will strike out both quest entries. I'll use this space to describe two "evil" ways of finishing the quest. Firstly, you may notice a partly hidden "safe" (locker) in Farrel's house. If you try to open it, he'll tell you to scram. (If you try it again he'll turn hostile, but it's empty so don't bother.) Go to Cornelius and tell him Farrel is keeping the watch in his safe; they'll have a fight, and you'll have completed the quest for no xp and quite a reputation drop. Useless. The other way is to get the watch, return it to Cornelius and say Farrel had stolen it. This is worth 500 xp.
If you're taking advantage of the barter trick (see Arroyo quest 3) or the Bag bug to keep the watch, you can get xp for both quests by "giving" it to Farrel first, then going to Cornelius to reactivate the quest and handing it to him as well. After that the fun's over, though.
Jonny is missing. Find him and bring him home to Balthas
The leatherworker Balthas is missing his kid. To find this out you need PE 6, to offer to look for Jonny you need IN 6, and for Balthas to give you the quest your standing in Modoc must be Neutral or better. You won't find Jonny in Modoc (see Ghost Farm) but there's a minor diversion here. Go to the town well, remove the boards and use a Rope on the well. Climb down. On the ground here are a few coins (you trade in 1 karma for each coin... neither the karma amount nor the gold matters, so I'd take it just because you can) and, in the north end, a BB Gun. You can now return to Balthas and say you found Jonny's gun down the well, after which he'll believe Jonny is dead (plus he takes the gun, which is worth $300 fully loaded, so maybe this is not a good idea).
If you are Accepted in Modoc or better when you get the quest, Balthas will tell you to take Jonny's dog Laddie along with you (he'll join even if you're at the NPC limit). Follow Laddie over to the town well and talk to him for some great dialogue. Laddie will stay with you until Jonny has been found... and it's something of a give-away that he stays with you even after you hand Balthas the BB Gun. :)
If you have problems getting Laddie to follow you, try doing the Modoc quests in a different order. More specifically, don't start off by setting Bess free, since it will be difficult to recover from the big reputation drop. Doing some simple quest right off like guarding Grisham's brahmin or killing Farrel's rodents will make you popular enough.
Laddie will go into a permanent woofing mode if you bring Jonny's BB Gun to the main street map while Laddie is there (either because he's with you or because he was standing there anyway). This means you can't talk to him to drop him off (if he was in your party) or recruit him (if he wasn't, but he'll still join you if you did this before getting the quest). He'll also woof whenever you talk to him with the BB Gun in your inventory. If for some reason you want Laddie as a permanent NPC, ignore the BB Gun, or park Laddie on the B & B map while you get the rifle and sell it to Balthas or put it on one of your mules.
Jonny's in the Slag caves. Find a way to get Jonny back home to Balthas
This will pop up once you talk to Jonny, if you got quest 4. Vegeir won't release Jonny until you've completed quests 7-8, but after that, he'll even give you an escort to Modoc, and then you can talk to Balthas for a Combat Leather Jacket and 2500 xp.
If you've left Laddie on another map than Modoc Main Street, he still won't rejoin your party after you rescue Jonny. The only way to keep him (if for some reason you want to) is to not bring Laddie to Jonny and not bring Jonny to Modoc.
Something strange is happening at the farm northeast of Modoc. Investigate and report back to Jo
Talk to Jo and ask about a G.E.C.K. and he'll give you this quest and put the Ghost Farm on the world map. Asking him to cut off his finger to seal the deal does nothing except lower your karma. Next head out to the farm. One way of completing this quest is to kill the Slags, then returning to Jo for 500 xp. He won't be very happy if you tell him those you killed were normal people and not ghosts, though. The better way is to talk to the Slags (see the Ghost Farm section) and get quest 7.
If you report that you killed the Slags, then leave the map and return, you can't buy stuff from Balthas or Jo any more. The same thing happens if the townspeople attack the farm during quests 7-8. You will be able to get free omelets from Rose, though (see below).
Deliver Slag message to Jo in Modoc
This means just bringing the Slag Message to Jo, and then you move on to quest 8 unless you immediately tell Jo you want to take no further part in what's going on, in which case you get 700 xp. People will then act a little weirdly: traders and townsfolk in Modoc will talk as if there's going to be a deal with the Slags, the Slags act as if they're waiting for it to happen, and Jo won't talk to you again at all. After 31 days Modoc will attack the Ghost Farm; see the next quest for details.
Whichever way you choose to deal with the Slag matter, from this point on Rose will allow you to riffle through the lost and found box and give you free omelets whenever you want them, but you won't be able to order any of the other stuff any more. The lost and found box is sometimes empty and sometimes has random items: Knives, Throwing Knives, Stimpaks, 10mm JHP, a Leather Jacket or a 10mm Pistol. On very rare occasions (1 chance in 200 every time you enter the map) you can find a 10mm SMG in there. If you're impatient you can exercise your Steal skill on the box, and due to what must be considered a glitch you can loot it freely if you stand on the hex just to the right of it.
Jo is suspecious of the Slags. Find out about the dead bodies at the Ghost Farm and find out what happened to Karl
Feeling a bit "suspecious", Jo will give you a month (31 days to be precise, just enough time to go to the Den and back on foot) to prove the Slags are not dangerous. If you've been paying attention you shouldn't need it; inform him of the fake bodies (you can also ask Vegeir about those) and Karl being in the Den, and you'll have paved the way for an alliance between Modoc and the Slags for 3500 xp, plus you can now tell Karl to return to his home. Jo will tell you about Gecko but not actually put in on your map, and you also get a one-time discount big enough to get all his stuff if you trade back and forth for a while.
If for some reason you can't or won't find out about the bodies or Karl, you can tell Jo you want out (same 700 xp as before), or tell him to attack the Slags. The latter will teleport you to the Farm, where the townsfolk make a more formidable fighting force than you might have credited them with. Basically you kill a few guards and ghosts, and then the game assumes that everyone else on the farm was killed too (if you go down the manhole, Vegeir will be there alone for you to deal with). You don't gain any quest xp for this, and it spoils your chances of saving Jonny. If you fail to inform Jo of Karl and the bodies in 31 days, the townspeople will attack on their own with basically the same results (if you go to the Ghost Farm afterwards you may find some ammo and stuff lying on the ground at the farm).
Once you arrive you find there are patches of blood on the ground and bodies impaled on stakes. Examining the bodies with a good PE, or after several tries, you notice they're all fakes. At night, white ghoulish shapes roam among the cornstalks, but if you approach them they don't sound really ghostlike.
There are two ways of getting in touch with the leader of the Slags. One is to walk over to the building and step on the carpet in the middle of the room, whereupon you'll fall 15 feet into a cave where you're greeted by some armed guards. The other is to wait until midnight, when a patrol appears outside the farm. Talk to them and surrender and they'll take you to Vegeir. If you should refuse to come with them, you'll pretty much have to fight everyone here.
Due to the nature and distribution of the various Slag critters, you don't have to kill everyone above and below ground for the "Slag counter" to reach zero so that you can report back to Jo (but if you're evil I suppose you'd want to do that anyway). Jonny and the protectors will disappear after you leave the map if the game considers the Slags exterminated by you, while the others remain until you've been back to Modoc.
Vegeir wants to strike a deal with Modoc and asks you to convey a message. Unless you accept, your only option is to shoot your way out. But whether you accept or not you're given the run of the caves, so you should take everything that isn't nailed down as usual. ("Youuuur power armour? I don't see your naaaame on it.") There's a hard-to-spot row of Shovels in the room under the pitfall.
To the north is a small map with children on it. One of them is Jonny, the son of Balthas. (If you have Laddie with you, he'll effectively leave your party and run up to Jonny as soon as you get here, providing you didn't kill Jonny already.) Talk to him (don't choose the "candy" line or he won't talk to you again!) and identify his father as Balthas or ask him to trust you (Speech check). After you've completed the Slag quests you can now talk to Vegeir to get Jonny safely back to Modoc.
Once you've delivered the message to Jo and allayed his suspicions, return to Vegeir and tell him the townspeople are ready to cooperate, and he gives you an Assault Rifle and 50 5mm JHP. That's pretty much it for this area.
Vault City is the segregated town with a shabby Courtyard and a tidy inner city. It's not really a nice place, but that's no reason to start shooting people. The two people in the Greeting Office are completely useless, by the way. In here you'll also find Ben Wade who runs a caravan of medical supplies to Redding on the 1st of every even month and will pay you $1000 to accompany him. In a locker you find what is probably your first Geiger Counter; you can loot these specific containers in broad daylight.
This is one of two places in the game (New Reno being the other) where most people will have new things to say after you complete the game. You'll have access to the inner city and the vault even if you didn't before. This also means that unexplored quest options may be cut off as key figures only respond to you with floats or new dialogue. Randal's Amenities shop effectively shuts down, but you can steal stuff from him safely if you really must have something: just click on him until he stops talking and then loot him clean (this is the same bug that befalls Salvatore in New Reno).
Once you get to this part of the world map (if not sooner), money and bartering will become less balanced than it has been. Up until now you haven't always been able to trade for everything you wanted, right? Well, shortly your pecuniary problems should be no more. Just hang around till you get a random encounter like "merchant party fending off raiders", "raiders fending off raiders", "raiders being butchered by a mantis", or the like. Once the fight begins, get out of the way and wait until there are only a few people left to kill, then kill the rest if you don't like them. Loot the corpses for stuff like Combat Shotguns, H&K CAWS's or Assault Rifles, and from this point on you should be able to trade for anything you ever want in a shop, even with Barter at 30% or lower. Of course, you can also choose to run from such encounters for the opposite reason, that you don't want to spoil the balance just yet.
In a house by the brahmin pen you find Vic's old friend Ed. If you've talked to Vic about it and show Ed the Vault 13 flask, he'll put the Den, Modoc, Broken Hills, Redding and New Reno on your world map, though only Broken Hills and Redding should be really new to you. You get 500 xp for this.
Harry has a shop in the Courtyard, restocking every 3 days. South of the bar you find Curtis who lost his doll. The doll can be found behind a wall just to the north. When you return to Curtis you can either rip it up or give it back (100 xp in either case), but if you give it to him you can listen to his "dialogue" and go dig up a Wrench from under a pile of rocks a little further up. This will come in handy quite soon.
Sean Meskill notes: "After bartering with Happy Harry (you needn't make a purchase), a bunch of stuff will be dumped into his 'stealable' inventory and you can then pinch whatever you please." This stuff represents a selection of his normal shop inventory; he only gets it once, but will keep it unless you relieve him of it. Additionally, the Micro Fusion Cell and Leather Armor Mark II in his shop inventory do not restock.
Cassidy is the owner of the bar. Talk to him about life in Vault City and he'll join your party. You get 300 xp for this as well as a heck of a rifle shot. Also save once and use the Buffout you're probably carrying on Cassidy, but reload afterwards. If you return later there'll be an "Out of business" sign here.
Charlie's lying helpless in his tent west of the bar. Use your Doctor skill on him for 100 xp to determine he's suffering from radiation poisoning. Use a packet of RadAway on him for another 100 xp. Finally you get 100 xp more when he stands up and thanks you.
Nearby is a doctor who'll patch you up for money, though I doubt anyone would find his prices reasonable: between $225 and $500 for HP and crippled limbs except for eye damage, healing for one NPC (same ones as for Dr Troy below minus the Brain Bot) costs between $150 and $500 depending on how hurt the main character is, if you have more than one NPC this amount is tripled no matter how many of them are hurt, with CH 6 or Barter 75% you can take $100 off the price or $300 for multiple NPCs. The autodoc doesn't work too well and will malfunction 50% of the time when you pay for healing, which means you lose your money for nothing. Using Repair to fix the autodoc for 100 xp puts an end to this, and in fact you should do so or you could run into problems later, but you might also want to leave it as it is for a while. Andrew can also perform some other services. If you got the extra toes from the Toxic Caves goo, you can have them removed here for $500 ($300 with a discount), and in your inventory you get a Mutated Toe, which has a "use" at the end of the game. More to follow...
A bug: if you have only one NPC and have the car, you won't be able to ask for healing for the NPC. If you have two NPCs and the car you'll get the single-NPC rate, but if one of them is the Brain Bot again you won't be able to heal them.
If you didn't repair the autodoc yet, the toes will grow back in 30 days. This also happens if you return to the Toxic Caves and step in the goo after having the toes removed. This can be repeated indefinitely and you get a new Mutated Toe each time. Don't use the Toe on yourself or any party member since it will lower your Maximum Hit Points for some time, though not permanently.
IN<4: The autodoc will never malfunction for a stupid character. Also you can get two special perks here. After you purchase healing, you get the option to "ride agin"; select this and you gain the Autodoc Raised hit points perk which gives +2 to max HP. However, for each time you "ride the autodoc" after that, you gain a level of the perk Autodoc Lowered hit points which gives -2 HP instead. Also beware that these are bugged; if you click them on your character sheet the game will immediately crash. Sébastien Caisse adds: "What's really stupid is that the script which gives you the bonus checks your IN, and if you have IN 10, then you get +4 instead of +2... but, um... you need IN 3 or less to get the 'ride agin' prompt..." There goes the Autodoc Raised hit points II perk, I suppose.
Once you learn about combat implants from the medical database in the vault, you can return here and ask "Doctor" Andrew about them. The two kinds of dermal implants both add 5% to your Damage Resistance against normal and explosion damage. The two kinds of phoenix implants both raise your Damage Resistance to plasma, laser and fire weapons by 5%. Each Enhancement (which requires the you got the basic implant of that kind) will also lower your CH by 1 permanently, which I generally feel is not worth it until late in the game (plus those are really expensive). Here's what each implant will cost you (discount with CH 6 or Barter 75%):
- Dermal Impact Armor: $7000 ($5000), 2 days.
- Dermal Impact Asslt. Enhance.: $40,000 ($30,000), 5 days, CH -1.
- Phoenix Armor Implants: $10,000 ($8000), 3 days (though he says two).
- Phoenix Assault Enhancement: $50,000 ($40,000), 6 days, CH -1.
Each perk will also require you to part with a suit of normal Combat Armor; Combat Armor Mark II or Brotherhood Armor cannot be used for this purpose (this goes for getting the implants in Redding or San Francisco as well).
Your CH variable can actually drop below 1, although it's never treated as anything less than 1. You'll notice this "debt" if you later raise your CH by means of Mentats, Gain Charisma or the like. Same thing goes if you lose your ear in New Reno.
Wallace at the Customs Office will put the Den, Broken Hills and Redding on your world map. There's a number of ways in which you can enter the inner areas of Vault City:
- Stroll into the Customs Office at night, pick the locker and take the Day Pass.
- Stand behind the locker where Wallace can't see you, pick it and take the Day Pass.
- With Speech 75% or IN 7 you can convince Wallace you must see the First Citizen (just pick the long, eloquent dialogue choices). He'll give you a Day Pass.
- Offer to find the raider base. Do this (see Raiders) and return, Wallace will give you a Day Pass.
- Talk to Wallace wearing only your vault suit, or the Bridgekeeper's Robes, and he'll slap a Day Pass on you faster than a gecko on Jet. This happens automatically if you talk to him with IN<4.
- Tell Wallace you're a trader. If you have any (Golden) Gecko Pelts, (Refined) Uranium Ore or a Gold Nugget in your inventory you can show them to him, or if you have any humanoid party members other than Cassidy you can simply claim you're about to sell them into slavery. You can then fork out $500 for a Day Pass.
- Pickpocket Wallace for a Day Pass.
- If you know of the Jet problem in Redding, ask Wallace about Redding and say you know why the shipments have slowed. He'll give you a Day Pass.
- Talk to Skeev and buy False Citizenship Papers off him for $200 ($150 with Barter 50%), then threaten to expose him and he'll give you $300 back! This is by far the best option. You can turn him in to Wallace, but this requires giving up your False Citizenship Papers (with Speech 75% you can ask for a Day Pass in exchange).
- Talk to Skeev with an IN<4 character and you'll end up inside the vault as a "servant" (but you'll be able to leave without anyone reacting).
- If you destroyed the Enclave you'll be allowed to enter, even if you were previously banned.
The reason Wallace will see your vault suit under the Bridgekeeper's Robes is simply that the game forgets to check for it when determining if the character is "naked". This bug affects some dialogues slightly - Lynette and the President, to name a couple - but only has any real effect on Wallace and Dogmeat.
With a Day Pass you can enter the compound during daytime only, but not enter the vault or use the biggest shop. You'll be searched for drugs (Buffout, Psycho, Mentats or Jet) and alcohol (all 5 kinds). Also some people will throw you out if they find you after 6 p.m. With False Citizenship Papers you can enter without being searched and use the shop but not enter the vault. If you get a Day Pass from Wallace (in a legit manner) you can get new ones for $50 each should you need them, though I can't figure out a reason why you ever would. By the way, when entering using the False Citizenship Papers, don't make the mistake of calling the First Citizen a "he", or mentioning "all the vaults".
Marcus and/or Lenny will not be allowed to enter the inner city unless you're Captain of the Guard. Incidentally, the guard's objections to them have been mixed up. Should you bring either of them inside anyway people will turn hostile, which is bad. Goris fits in just fine, apparently on account of his inconspicuous cloak.
IN<4: There are many people downtown who'll get you permanently banished from Vault City if you talk to them and wait for them to call the guards, such as Lydia, Dr Troy, Lynette (even if you wear only the vault suit, though the conversation is different) and McClure. The "Shamble off" option should always get you safely out of a conversation, though sometimes you can only choose between being thrown out or resisting. If you've had previous non-stupid dealings with them they may either treat you like any stupid character, or they may present you with no valid dialogue options, or they may just leave you be (Lydia will not call the guards on true citizens, for instance). There's a dialogue glitch when you talk to the gate guards for the first time: if you get two identical lines, the first leads to combat and the second ends dialogue.
Go to the Information Center and lament the death of books for one Deans Electronics and one Big Book of Science (IN 7 or Comprehension needed). Randal runs a very good shop with several books, Stimpaks for about $200, Leather Armor Mark II at $1000, and a Combat Shotgun for about $3000 as compared to maybe $6500 in NCR (well, if you have a decent CH anyway). Randal restocks every 3 days while the Sub-amenities shops restock every 2-3 days.
If you press the barter button instead of asking Randal to trade you'll have to pay a more expensive rate, because you miss out on the barter modifier (he's one of several shopkeepers in the game who work that way). The Sub-amenities shops will offer you lower prices if you're not a citizen. The reason for this is that the person who coded Vault City and New Reno apparently thought the signs of barter modifiers worked the other way around (which also means Randal's stuff was not really supposed to be cheap).
In v1.0 the Sub-amenities shopkeepers kept their wares in containers in the shops and if you had decent Steal you could loot them clean, though failing a check would net you first a warning and then banishment - even if the shopkeepers were invisible at the time!
At the Servant Allocation Center you can sell some of your party members into slavery (Miria for $250, Davin for $200, Sulik for $100, Vic for $100, all doubled by a successful Barter check; Barkus will initially say he's offering $250 for Davin but it's a typo). Note that he'll only bid on one current party member, in the order given above, so if you're married you have to sell your spouse before you can sell Sulik or Vic. Any equipment on a sold NPC goes into the footlocker in the next room which you can loot at your convenience.
In the Corrections Center you'll find Citizen Sergeant Stark who's a real asshole, though not the greatest asshole in all of Vault City (he probably wishes). Don't flash False Citizenship Papers in his face or he'll have you expelled from Vault City forever. Don't push the matter of his harassing Cassidy, either... yet. He'll tell you about the raiders, and in fact, once you mention the raiders to him you have to offer to go find them, or he'll accuse you of being one and attack! Stark will also give you quests 9 and 10. If you want a free suit of Metal Armor, open the second locker from the top, standing behind it as seen from the nearby guard.
If you become Captain of the Guard and talk to Stark with Cassidy in your party, you can order him to pardon Cassidy and pay him restitution. This will earn you $500 and 500 measly xp. If you're wondering how to become Captain this is described in the NCR section, quest 3.
After you become Captain you can also loot some containers that you couldn't before. The four buildings where you can do this are the Corrections Center, the small building opposite, the small building closest to the exit grid in the council area, and the Customs Office. You will notice that these containers are all watched by officials or guards in metal armour; regular citizens will not let you take their stuff.
There's a cheat you can use to enter the vault without citizenship. Move up close to the opening, enter combat mode and run onto the exit grid. It doesn't piss off the guards, either. "Hello Mr Evil Spy Marauder, no way you'll get past us, oh, except if you come barging like a homicidal maniac."
If you move on to the third Vault City area, you'll find a few uninteresting buildings, a seemingly uninteresting bar and the Central Council. There are three people to see here: Gregory, McClure and Lynette. Gregory will issue the ridiculously difficult citizenship test. It is possible to pass and become a citizen right away, but you need to boost the right stats (PE 9, IN 9 and LK 9). The physical examination will disqualify you if you've grown extra toes in the Toxic Caves and didn't have them removed yet. You get 1000 xp if you pass the test.
McClure in the western room is the sane person in this outfit. Whenever you want something done, you go to him. The brave can take the other direction and turn right down the hall... Congratulations, you have found First Bitchizen Lynette, universally hated by Fallout 2 gamers. If at any time you really piss her off, she's apt to ban you from Vault City permanently (like if you show her False Citizenship Papers; she'll promise you a Day Pass if you tell her who gave you the papers, but she's lying). Nevertheless you should get quest 4 from her. McClure and Lynette can both put Gecko on your world map.
Once you learn of the Jet problem in Redding you can inform McClure of it for 250 xp. A large number of people in New Reno and Redding can tell you about this, but those who will let you report back to McClure are Dr Johnson, Ascorti, Myron, Reed, Renesco, Little Jesus and Father Tully. After you get the Jet Antidote to Doc Johnson, again tell McClure about it for 2500 more xp. Don't ask him for a reward, however, or you don't get any xp, just $500.
If you have an exceptional Luck, go to the Parlour Room bar, order some alcohol-Z and keep doing so (weighing down the 2 key works fine). After you have bought 100 of them (costs $2000 in all; each one also heals 3 HP whereas if you order water it only heals 1 HP) you may gain a special perk that changes your Maximum Hit Points as follows (thanks to Geoffrey Bateman and Sébastien Caisse for the information):
- LK 1: Alcohol Lowered hit points II (HP -4)
- LK 2: Alcohol Lowered hit points (HP -2)
- LK 9: Alcohol Raised hit points (HP +2)
- LK 10: Alcohol Raised hit points II (HP +4)
Entering the vault, on level 1 you'll find the medical facilities. You'll want Doctor 75% to do everything here. First off, if you have that level of skill you can talk medicine with the doctor and he'll give you the Vault City Training perk which gives you +5% to Doctor and +5% to First Aid (see quest 3 first, though). After you've got the Vault City Training, if you come here to treat poisoning or radiation, you'll be able to ask for the Vault City Inoculations perk which gives you +10% Poison Resistance and +10% Radiation Resistance. Not that it's much to shout about, but every little bit helps. Dr Troy will offer free healing (HP, poison, radiation and crippled limbs except for eye damage), and if you're Captain you can also get him to heal NPCs except for Dogmeat, K-9, the pariah dog or any inferior Brain Bot.
If you become Captain of the Guard, you can bring Lenny and Marcus here without Dr Troy entering combat mode. If you let him heal Marcus, you end up with some extra ammo: 20 7.62mm, 50 5mm JHP, 20 9mm ball, 24 10mm JHP, 10 .45 caliber, 40 .44 Magnum JHP, 40 .44 magnum FMJ and 50 .233 FMJ! Be careful not to talk to Lynette with either of them in your party, though... she'll throw you out of Vault City for good.
Talking to nurse Phyllis you can do a lot of stuff:
- Convince Phyllis to see the outside world (choose the "similarity of citizens" path): 300 xp.
- With Doctor 75% and PE 6 you can get Phyllis to talk to the doctor about potential sterility in Vault City (choose the "no children" path) for 300 xp.
- Male characters only can date her for 100 xp if they have CH 6 and one of the following: Sex Appeal, Kama Sutra Master, CH 9 or Speech 75%.
- Male characters only can donate a sperm sample in the no children thread. With IN 4 you get 50 xp, with IN 5-6 you get 250 xp, and with IN>6 you get 500 xp. If you ask for a magazine you get a Cat's Paw Magazine!
With Doctor 75% you can get information on combat implants from the medical database for 500 xp if you access it using Science. Search the database 22 more times. You'll get a new message. Search the database 30 more times. You'll get a new message. Then just 2 more times, and you get a "secret" message. The doctor here won't perform the implant surgery, but there are others who are less conscientious.
Generally you need a certain Science proficiency (51% here, though Doctor 76% will do as well) to use computers. Also if you don't have IN 4 you usually can't use them no matter how high your Science skill. Computers that can be used for something are almost always called something other than "computer" when you move the mouse pointer over them, like in this case "Vault City medical terminal", but there are exceptions.
On level 2 of the vault, just pick the doors if needed (Lockpick 80% should do it) and loot the footlockers. Be sure to pick up the Computer Voice Module. The crates only contain Water Chips - which are, incidentally, an exception to the principle of "take everything". Maybe you'll want one for fun, but really there's no reason to bother. Two of the doors can only be opened with a ST of 8 or higher (7 if you use a Crowbar), which is kind of ironic, since behind one of them resides the Red Memory Module which will (much) later raise your ST. Take a couple of Buffouts if you have to, make sure not to get addicted. Or just come back here once you have the Power Armor, but there's some nice ammo to be had, so it's probably worth the chems to get it now.
Fix (Repair) the rattling vent for 100 xp and 50 Micro Fusion Cell. You need PE 6 to notice that it's rattling, or if you don't you can go to level 3 and wait until the central computer says that it's detected an obstruction in the ventilation system, then return to level 2.
On level 3, loot both the locker room and the armoury for some juicy stuff. Go to the lowermost computer in the leftmost room and use Science on it for 350 xp. Do you remember that the other computer in that room could be used for the same purpose in Fallout? Well, in this vault you can't. But if you read the secret message in the medical database, this is where you'll go after accessing the central computer when you've completed the game. You'll then be able to use this terminal for 20,000 xp each time. Hm, pointless if you ask me.
On this floor you'll usually find Martin (though he will be on level 2 if you enter the vault between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m.), who's singing "Maybe". It's a good song, so don't tell him to stop. In fact, you can get infinite karma (+1 each time) if you compliment him on his singing.
If you've entered the vault illegally or by being stupid you may want to stay away from the armoury, since there's a bug that can trap you in there forever. This is the door that Martin is keeping an eye on, so if you try to open it, he'll "stop" you by entering combat mode. (He won't attack, but your NPCs may attack him!) To enter the room anyway, toggle Sneak mode, pick the door and open it, but oddly you cannot use the same method to get out. You can't get party members to open the door, either - they just pass through it like ghosts. Killing Martin or scaring him away does not help, since the actual bug is that the door checks if it sees you, not if Martin sees you. There are two ways to avoid this. One is simply being a citizen (which you'd normally be if you're inside the vault), in which case Martin won't stop you opening the door. Also if he's on level 2 it will be OK. The armoury contains some guns (free 10mm SMG), grenades and ammo, but nothing important.
The central computer is the talking one in the room to the right. Using it you get Vault 15 on your world map, and if you have PE 7 there is also a mysterious slot to plug in your Pipboy (you'll notice it when you log off the computer). Doing so gives you a "Vault City Travel Log" entry in your Pipboy and will put New Reno, Redding, Broken Hills, NCR and Vault 15 on your world map if they weren't there before. You must have noticed this slot to get the "desginer notes" and use the xp computer after finishing the game.
IN<4: Reaching into the computer will give you an electric shock and damage depending on your current Hit Points (it will never kill you, even if you're at 1 HP). Apparently this was also supposed to raise your Damage Resistance to electrical damage, but it doesn't. As long as you open the computer (you don't have to get shocked) you can get the travel log without the PE requirement.
Deliver Moore's briefcase to Mr. Bishop in New Reno
Thomas Moore stands in the inner city preaching. If you play along, and providing Bishop is not dead, Moore will give you a briefcase to deliver to New Reno (which shows up on the map). If you happen to piss him off in conversation, you can always mollify him again unless you're a Slaver. Just don't ask him for payment or threaten to turn him in, or he'll put a note in the briefcase telling Bishop to kill you on arrival... which is bad. You get 500 xp and $250 for a successful delivery. Note that you must take this quest if you want to do missions for Bishop later.
After you've made the delivery and learned Moore is an NCR agent, you can turn him in to Lynette for 500 xp. I see no problem with this since Moore is a fanatic, you don't lose any karma, and Bishop doesn't care. Just don't mention brahmin maulings or you won't be welcome in Vault City for much longer. If you're not a citizen you can only do this when you show Lynette Bishop's Holodisk.
Get a plow for Mr. Smith
Smith lives in a tent in the north part of the Courtyard. He needs a plow which Harry is selling. Simply buy the plow for Smith ($800, $600 with Barter 51%) and he'll repay you with 250 xp, a Desert Eagle .44 and 20 .44 Magnum JHP. You can ask $150 from Smith in advance, but then you don't get the other reward so you can figure how good that is.
Deliver a sample of jet to Dr. Troy
Getting this quest is a little tricky. First you must have Doctor 75% so that you qualify for the medical tour. There are now two non-obvious dialogue paths that lead to this quest. Tell him that you're something of a doctor, and when he offers the tour, either try to leave conversation directly, or else take the tour, but directly afterwards leave conversation. (You can always take the tour later, but there's no reason not to do it right away.) In either case he'll stop you and ask if you, being an outsider, could do him a special service, namely smuggle some Jet into the vault (see quest 7 for details on how to do that). Give it to him for $1000 but no xp. If you have Jet in your inventory when you get the quest, you can ask $1200 for it with Barter 75%, or $1500 with Barter 95%; doing this will also provide you with an extra (inconsequential) line if you have Chem Reliant or are addicted to Jet. Anyway, if you return three months later he'll have churned out two doses of Jet Antidote for you, which you should take to Doc Johnson in Redding; see that section for the rest.
The time needed for the doctor to produce the antidote on his own can be shortened to one month if you've talked to Myron about Jet production; when handing over the Jet, start the dialogue thread that begins "you don't want to inhale that crap". If you have Myron with you at this point the two of them will compare notes, but it's not necessary. For this you get 750 xp. However, you cannot get these xp if you have the New Reno quest active, so you should first do this and then talk to Myron to get the New Reno quest before Dr Troy can make an antidote to maximize your xp.
There's also an unlikely way to get only 500 xp and shorten the time needed to make the antidote to two months. For this you must talk to Myron about Jet before he joins you, and leave dialogue once he says "And that's all yer ever gonna learn" (you need some IN and Science to get there). Then go to Troy and hand him the Jet without having Myron in your party.
Instead of taking the quest, you can blackmail Troy for $500 each month ($1000 with Barter 75%, if you press him for more he'll call the guards). If you do, don't ever go to him for medical treatment or you'll get hit for 6999 Hit Points or so... but you also get some really funny dialogue. :) If you don't like him much you can turn him in to Lynette and he'll be removed from Vault City (you must be a citizen or Lynette will remove you instead). You can't talk to Phyllis any more if you do this.
You won't get this quest if you've already told him about the endorphin blockers after talking to Myron, so do all this in the right order, OK? In case you're not sure which that is, see quest 7 in New Reno.
The Jet Antidote is slightly bugged. Firstly, if you are addicted to Jet when you use it, you don't lose the dose. Secondly, you can use it to raise your stats permanently, although this is a pointless kind of cheating. In any case here's one way of doing it which works for me most of the time. All you need is a supply of Jet and one Jet Antidote. Step 1: use 2 or more Jet, making sure you get addicted, then 1 Jet Antidote. Step 2: rest for 24 hours (the game will exit from the Pipboy automatically). Step 3: repeat step 1. Step 4: rest for a few days, then check your stats. For every repetition of the cycle after the first, your ST and PE should go up by 1 and your AP by 1 or 2. Fun, eh?
Solve the Gecko powerplant problem
Talk to Lynette about becoming a citizen, until she mentions you could become a citizen by doing Vault City a special favour. Continued in the Gecko section, quest 1. If you return and tell Lynette you destroyed the plant, she won't be happy; if you mention anything about a reward, she'll even ban you from VC forever (she likes doing that). If you tell her you fixed the plant, she won't be happy either, and again will throw you out of town if you talk back to her. If you tell her you took care of the problem but don't mention fixing the plant, she's OK with it, but you don't get any kind of reward. Talk to McClure instead once you fix the plant and he'll make you a citizen of Vault City. Now you can go and tease Lynette. :)
It doesn't matter if you pick the line about Lynette blocking your citizenship or not before going to get the Hy-Mag. McClure will always make you a citizen once you fix the reactor. Of course, that won't stop Lynette from tossing you out for any of the reasons she usually would.
Deliver Lynette's holodisk to Westin in NCR
If you've killed the raiders and bring Bishop's Holodisk from New Reno to Lynette, you get 2500 xp and this quest. NCR will appear on the map if it wasn't there already. Pretty straightforward; see NCR for details on how to reach Westin. Giving the disk to him reaps you 2000 xp. If you return without the Westin Holodisk you get $1000, otherwise you "only" get the reward for that quest but no money.
Rescue Amanda's husband, Joshua
Amanda lives in the eastern corner of the Courtyard. Joshua is in the Servant Allocation Center in the inner city. If you talk to Barkus you can arrange Joshua's release in one of several ways:
- Offer a bribe (from $250 to $1000 depending on your Barter skill).
- Make something up about a mysterious disease which Joshua has contracted (Speech 80% or Doctor 75%).
- If you're a citizen, you can tell Barkus Joshua is a bad influence on the other servants or that he may be infected (Speech 75%).
- If you're Captain you can just order his release.
In either case you get 500 xp if you set him free. Go to his tent in the Courtyard and talk to his wife for an added reward of $32.
Deliver beer and booze (10 each) to Lydia
Lydia the bartender complains there is no real booze to be had (if you broach the topic, at any rate), and asks you to smuggle 10 Beer and 10 Booze, which you should easily have been able to accumulate (if you knew this quest was coming, anyway), into the city. This can be accomplished easily by either a) being a citizen, b) being in possession of False Citizenship Papers, c) dropping the booze before being searched and then picking them up after the gate opens, or d) putting the stuff on your party members as you're entering the city, as they are apparently above suspicion. Those guards are kinda dumb. Your reward is $300 and 250 xp. By the way, Lydia can put Gecko, Broken Hills, Redding and New Reno on your world map.
Deliver pliers (tools) and a wrench to Valerie
Valerie in the Maintenance building will complain that the Super Tool Kit she ordered hasn't arrived yet. Simply give her a Tool (if you didn't bring one from Klamath or the Den, one of the Amenities shops carries it) and the Wrench from before for $50 and 250 xp. Wait one day (a good window to do quest 9 for Stark and enter Gecko for the first time) then return for your bonus reward, a brand new Super Tool Kit. The funny thing is, if you reload and don't give her the tools, the tool kits won't arrive at the same time they would have if you had... er, never mind. You can steal the extra 4 Super Tool Kits from Val if you're a greedy bastard (it doesn't appear to interfere with her ability to carry on with her job). She will now upgrade a few weapons for money, and cheaper than the competition (see table in the Items section). As with Andy you get a discount if you have CH 6 or Barter 75%. Getting a .44 Magnum (Speed Load) or Super Cattle Prod isn't too bad, but there's a free upgrade coming up in Gecko.
If Vic is with you there'll be a long conversation between him and Valerie, who happens to be his daughter. When that's over with, talk to her again for the quest. After you bring her the tools you can talk to Val about Vic, and if you have CH 8 or Speech 75% you can tell her to give him a chance for 250 xp.
If you're playing a game without children you obviously can't get the Wrench from Curtis. In this case there's a Wrench in one of the mine headquarters in Redding you can pick up without too much trouble, plus there's one in the vault if you have access to that (or use the combat mode trick). Another way is to try to find a ghoul caravan along the Gecko-Broken Hills trade route, since they carry Wrenches.
If you're upgrading the Cattle Prod, don't ask for the discount! There's a bug which makes her return a normal Cattle Prod instead of the upgraded version. Just pay the full $750 and you'll get the real thing.
Scout the eight sectors around Gecko and return to Stark
Just run a circle around Gecko (which Stark puts on your world map) and return for $300 and 350 xp.
Enter NCR and return to Stark
Next he'll want you to go to NCR. Do this at the earliest convenience, and make sure to visit the Hubologist and get your Luck boost while you're there. Return for $500, 750 xp and a free Motion Sensor. Neato. Needless to say taking this quest puts NCR on your world map.
Gecko is a small town inhabited by ghouls and dominated by an atomic reactor, which is for some reason still running after all these years. Although the people in Vault City babble about radiation, you really don't have to take any Rad-X while you're here. Nor are the ghouls vicious killers. In my first game I was a little scared going here for the first time. :)
Well, it was a little more dangerous in v1.0 because of a bug that would make some ghouls attack you unprovoked, ruining your chances of finishing quests in Gecko. Jeremy Lowe: "There are three (in my experience) who do this: one of the ghouls in the first shack on the right as you enter the junkyard; a ghoul lurking behind the Harp bar (makes it very tricky to get into the plant); and a ghoul guard in the power plant - he's the one in the long corridor beside the entrance to the reactor core proper." Tim Weber chips in: "I don't know about the first two ghouls, but the last one, near the reactor core, will always attack me whenever I contact the Enclave on the computer. Other than that he just leaves me alone. (Unless of course I cause a meltdown, but that's hardly surprising.)" When I tested it myself the two nameless glowing ones in the reactor building would enter combat, and also the guard in the long corridor if I did the Enclave thing. The bug is caused by incorrect variable assignment, so there's no telling what will set off any particular ghoul.
At the Harp, Wooz will give you a free pack of "Tragic" cards if you get him to tell you about the game. You can play with him if you like; each game will either cost you or win you one pack of cards. You can win with a pretty low Gambling skill, but it's not really worth the time.
Lenny the doctor (standing about with Harold in the building marked Manager's Office) will heal you: HP and crippled limbs except for eye damage, NPCs except for Laddie, the pariah dog or any inferior Brain Bot, charges nothing if you have no money or if you talked to him about your ancestor the Vault Dweller, else just a nominal fee. After you talk to him about your ancestor he'll also join up with you if you have at least karma 1 (though you may want to hold this off for now - see note for quest 1). Doing so gives you +5 karma and makes you more liked in Gecko, so go for it even if you're dropping him off directly afterwards.
In the power plant, you'll need a yellow and a red keycard to pass the first door you encounter marked with each of these colours. The guard directly ahead of you as you enter has both, if you want to steal them, else you can just pick them up from various containers. Percy has a Yellow Pass Key in his house for the taking. You'll find a blue one as well, but it has no use... in this location.
Percy in the junkyard has a shop with very fair prices (restocks every 3 days) and will also give you quest 5 below. Skeeter will upgrade weapons (see table in the Items section) and in the leftmost room of his house you'll find what is quite possibly your first set of Lockpicks. Lumpy in the shack north of Skeeter's will put Broken Hills on the world map if you ask him about his name and follow the conversation.
Solve the Gecko powerplant problem
Talk to Harold to get this quest in Gecko. (No matter if you get it here or in VC it pops up for both towns in your Pipboy.) First off, the evil way of finishing this, which includes blowing up the power plant. There are three ways to do this, all of which require you to go to the room next to the reactor room:
- Firstly, the way of the robot. Access the computer and initialize it using the codes containing the letters A, B and C in that order. Next you'll have to figure out how to operate the robot. Choose the coolant maintenance sequence, read the instructions on how to operate the robot, then enter a program. If you don't want to use trial and error, the correct sequence corresponds to the order of the planets starting with the outmost and going inwards... and if that doesn't mean anything to you, examine the machinery around the rim of the reactor and direct the robot to each one in turn. Then add the command to shut the coolant valve. Once the robot accomplishes this, you get 550 xp and turn all the ghouls in the plant hostile!
- Next, the way of the seriously radiated. Instead of using the robot you could walk over to the valve and shut it yourself, but you and any party members take 10 damage for each few steps you take in the reactor room. You need to use the valve three times to shut it (with a ST check for each attempt), after which you'll take 15 damage instead. Not really recommended... and taking Rad-X will not alleviate the damage, only protect you from being permanently radiated. Plus you get no xp.
- Finally, the way of the devious is to simply hand the Clipboard with the coolant report to Hank, and the dumbass will do your work for you. Plus, you can get the hell out of there while he lumbers over to the coolant valve. You get 550 xp for this also.
While you're fiddling with the computer, there's a great sequence which is rather easy to miss. Choose the option to "Initiate general maintenance sequence", and try to download the code (you need Science 50% for this). Enter the codes with the letters X, Y and Z in that order, then choose "List other stations" and "More". Choose any of the first two dialogue options, and look... a talking head! You can have a great time chatting with this dude, but it doesn't actually do anything (i.e. no gunships show up with gatlings blazing or anything).
After you've started the meltdown, you and your party members (except Lenny) will take hits from radiation as you battle your way out (unless you managed to run out while Hank or the robot was going to the valve). There's no time limit; you can actually stay for as long as you want, providing you can handle the damage and radiation. You get another 2500 xp when you leave the reactor, which is now impossible to re-enter (it's not as if you'd want to). Ghouls in the town outside will only attack if you talk to them, and named ghouls like Skeeter, Harold or Wooz don't turn hostile at all - unless you start fighting other ghouls nearby. 24 hours afterwards everyone in Gecko will be gone, including Lenny if he was there but not in your party (taking with him any equipment he was carrying), but excepting Lumpy and the dogs in the junkyard. Congratulations, you are evil.
If you leave the map while Hank is going to the valve, the plant is destroyed but you don't get the extra 550 xp. This also happens if you enter the robot commands in the order 2, 4, 1, 5, 3 (note that this is the wrong order, it's a bug) and send the robot on its way, even though it never reaches the valve.
If instead you want to do good, then you'll have learned from Harold that all the reactor needs is a good hydrospheratic magnulator or something of the like. Return to Vault City... but don't tell Lynette the good news, or she'll ban you from VC forever (did I mention she likes doing that?). Instead talk to McClure and he'll tell you to get the hydramagolator from Randal in the Amenities shop. If you have the Gecko Holodisk you'll be giving it to McClure at this time (see quest 2 below). Go to Randal and pick up the part (animated picture, cool). Once you get back to the Gecko plant there are again three ways of installing the part:
- Run like heck through the reactor room, taking 10 damage every few steps, use the part on the machinery with the red wheel (Repair check) for 4000 xp, then run like heck out of there. This is still kinda dumb.
- Talk to Festus. He's dubious, so you must make a Speech check to get him to install the part for 4250 xp.
- Go through the robot procedure, same program as before except the last step is installing the part instead of shutting off the coolant valve. 4500 xp for this.
As above you can enter the commands in the incorrect order 2, 4, 1, 5, 3 and then leave the plant to fix it for 4000 xp, providing the robot has the part. No point in this, of course, but this is the nearly ultimate guide so there you have it.
Note that after you've gone through all that trouble to fix the plant, you can still use the robot or manual way of turning off the coolant valve for 550 more xp (if you used the robot) and 2500 xp for blowing up the plant. Similarly you can sabotage the plant and then use the Hydroelectric Part for 4000 xp (manual) or 4500 xp (robot) before the plant blows up.
From Sebastian Cassten: "If you let Festus install the Hydroelectric Part for you and use the barter trick to keep it, you can afterwards do the 'running way' and get 4000 xp more." If the plant is already optimized when you do this, it will be un-optimized and you'll be able to do that entire quest all over again.
Leaving the power plant while the robot is still walking can cause it to get stuck. In this case you can go into the reactor and steal the part from the robot, or kill it, and do the repairing yourself.
Go to Harold after fixing the plant, ask him what he does and tell him of your ancestor. He'll give you 3 Super Stimpaks and 5 Stimpaks. You can only access this thread once, so make sure you follow the conversation right up to the end. Also if you ever got into Lenny's thread about the G.E.C.K. ("Vault 13 owes us one") then you won't get the Stimpaks, because the same variable is used to determine if you've been through either thread.
Optimize the powerplant
Obviously you can only finish this is if you installed the part instead of shutting down the reactor. After you've fixed the reactor, talk to Festus again and he'll give you a Reactor Holodisk to take to the Vault City central computer. Since you fixed the plant McClure will make you a citizen, so you'll have access to the vault. If you talk to McClure about optimizing the reactor before telling him you repaired it, he'll have the data optimized for you, saving you the trip into the vault. In any case, return to Festus with the optimized disk and use it on the reactor computer for 2500 more xp.
There's another way you can go about this for a few more xp. In the junkyard, go down the manhole in the shack to the left of the abandoned reactor building and you'll find a few access tunnels guarded by ghouls. There's a tough ghoul named Zomak standing by the entrance to the cave, who has some stuff for thieves to steal. In the back of the cave you find The Brain, a mutated mole rat who plans to take over the world. Sound familiar? Just go along with whatever he says and he'll give you a Talisman (which doesn't do anything) and tell you to talk to Gordon about optimization data. This tunnel crawl isn't strictly necessary since Gordon will give you the Gecko Holodisk even if you don't speak to the rat at all, providing you talk to him before you repair the reactor (or after you optimize it, but then you'd have scant use for the disk).
If you carry any Cheezy Poofs in your inventory, the rat won't talk to you until you've given him all of them to eat. If you refuse to part with them, he'll attack. If you've killed Keeng Ra'at, The Brain will muse upon the passing of his "sole remaining kin" the first time you initiate dialogue.
Anyway, when you talk to Gordon he'll do Gordon Gekko's routine from Wall Street, and you can agree to bring the aforementioned disk to someone in Vault City. McClure is the obvious choice here; you get 750 xp for handing it to him. You can go to The Brain after all this is done but he has nothing useful to say. Gordon will give you another holodisk after you talk to the Brain if you got the first one without having done so.
If you talk to McClure about the Gecko Holodisk after you fix the plant but before you talk to Festus about optimization, you end up not giving the disk to McClure. You must then get the Reactor Holodisk from Festus before you can make another attempt. Note that you'll miss out on the 750 xp if you optimize the data before giving the Gecko Holodisk to McClure (for a non-citizen, carrying the Gecko Holodisk when you hand him the Reactor Holodisk is enough).
If you got two Gecko Holodisks from Gordon (bug), you can give both of them to McClure (also bug). If you're not a citizen, you have to give the first one to him when you tell him about the needed part, and the second when you give him the Reactor Holodisk. The other way is to show him a Gecko Holodisk after fixing the plant and becoming a citizen, but before getting the Reactor Holodisk from Festus. After you get the Reactor Holodisk, McClure will take both Gecko Holodisks off your hands. (In fact, at this point you can exploit the Bag bug and hand him any number of disks.) Just don't keep both in your inventory when you hand him the first one, since he'll take all you have.
If you optimize the plant you sort of condemn the ghouls... since then you get the bad ending for Gecko, where VC annex them to gain full control of the power plant. To get the "neutral" ending, fix but don't optimize the plant. See Endings for more details.
Get super repair kit for Skeeter
Ask Skeeter in the junkyard about car parts, and he'll trade you a Fuel Cell Controller (the thing needed to run the car in the Den) for a Super Tool Kit. Normally you'll have the one Valerie gave you, or Smitty in the Den may have one to barter (40% chance every time he restocks, actually). If you already have the kit he asks you for it right away. 250 xp is in this. If you kill him the part will appear on his body and the other ghouls won't care.
Get 3-step plasma transformer for Skeeter
Skeeter will ask for this when you bring him the Tool Kit, if at the time you are carrying at least one weapon that he can upgrade. Jeremy in the reactor has the part in question. Steal it from him, or give him a Part Requisition Form. The latter can be found in Harold's house and on Festus. If you ask Festus for it, you can make up any of four excuses and get it if you pass a Speech check or if he likes you; you can also steal it off him, if you like that better... or barter for it. Whatever. Return to Skeeter and he'll give you 350 xp and a free weapon upgrade, which means you should get the .44 Magnum (Speed Load). Yum! If you don't want to wait for Skeeter to give you the quest, just bring the part to him (you can get it from Jeremy without having the quest active).
You can actually steal the part and then get one more for each Requisition Form... and Skeeter will perform one free upgrade for each one. You even get the 350 xp each time. Well, why not go for a Scoped Hunting Rifle? Note that you have to give him something to upgrade before you can get another reward.
Find Woody the ghoul for Percy. Try the Den
Go to the Den (Percy puts it on your map, though I've a feeling you've been there) and pay the Great Ananias $25 to see the mummy. Turns out it's Woody. Wake him up and watch him run for 1000 xp. Return to Percy for your reward of 4 RadAway and 3 Rad-X. Not that you will ever find a use for those in this game...
Wallace and Stark in Vault City will both ask you to find the base of the raiders who plague them. It's not as hard to find as they make it out to be - it's the conspicuous green circle south-southwest of Vault City. The raider base has two entrances, one through a cave ("Cliff") and one through a manhole ("Well"). The first time you come here you end up by the manhole if you pass a difficult Outdoorsman check or if you read the Raiders Map, else you will find yourself outside the cave opening.
If you finish the game and wonder why there's an unused button on the world map screen, it's supposed to be the Raiders button. Before the patch it did show up, but mislabelled "Arroyo". It seems they didn't quite manage to fix it.
Notice how the raider base as well as Broken Hills happen to be on a beeline between Vault City and NCR, in approximately the same way that Modoc is on a beeline between the Den and Vault City, Redding is on a beeline from the Den to New Reno, and Shady Sands was on a beeline between Vault 13 and Vault 15 in Fallout...?
If you start out by the cave opening, go inside. Three of the passages here are lavishly mined. Use Traps on the floor plates for 25 xp each, or step on one and start a chain reaction if you don't have the patience (you can also set them off by dropping explosives). All nearby mines won't necessarily be triggered in this case. There's a lot of them, but they don't do much damage. Beware that the middle lower passage has a mine which cannot be disarmed, and your party members seem to love treading on it.
Also look out for four invisible pitfalls. With a good PE you can spot them before you fall down (giving you a few points of damage), but unlike the floor traps the pitfalls won't automatically make you stop when you notice them, so unless you usually move a hex or two at a time you're probably going to fall down anyway. Below is another cave which holds giant scorpions (tougher than your average radscorpion) and many miscellaneous items (Hunting Rifle, Leather Armor among other things) strewn on the floor among the bones. There's also a pile of rocks like the one you got the Wrench from in Vault City, but nothing happens when you manipulate it. Take the ladder to go back up again.
Northeast of here you find the actual base, and this is also the map you arrive on if you go down the manhole. If you come from the direction of the mined caves, there are two more rows of mines to deal with, as well as a chainlink fence with two locked doors in it. The first time you set foot on this map, you get 500 xp and can now return to Vault City to report you found the raider camp. Wallace will give you a Day Pass if you aren't a citizen, but Stark will just send you to Lynette and Lynette will just ask you to go back and kill the raiders.
If you go down the manhole and back up again, your car will be gone, but don't worry. Just leave the area, access the town map and go to the cliff, and the car will be there. This is one of several bugs that the patch readme file claims were fixed but which weren't.
Fighting the raiders will be a lot easier if you approach from the well. Just show yourself in the narrow opening to the main room, and they'll come running for you. Run back behind the nearest corner, then forego your turn repeatedly. Cassidy or someone can stand there shooting them to bits at point blank range with a Combat Shotgun, while they ignore him and pile up in the narrow passage trying to reach you; this also works to some extent for an HtH party. If you approach from behind the fence you'll have a hard time keeping the raiders from sniping you with their FN FALs. However, if you have a Scoped Hunting Rifle and Small Guns 150% or so, feel free to snipe right back from where they can't get to you.
When you tell Lynette you found or wiped out the raiders, you can demand money for your information if you're a citizen: $100, $200, $400 or $500. This is pretty bad, though. Firstly, if your Barter skill is not up to what you ask, Lynette will have you expelled from the city and revoke your citizenship. Secondly, you can't ask on both occasions, so the most you can get out of it is $500. Thirdly, if you do this she won't give you the usual reward of $1000 (and 1000 xp) when you destroy the raiders. Well, this somehow seems like familiar CRPG behaviour.
There's a native standing around named Shadow-Who-Walks. This is the native guide Stark was talking about. He won't necessarily join the battle right away, and it's possible to keep him alive and neutral through the entire encounter, although he says nothing and does nothing anyway. Well, actually he does say something if you click on him 30-50 times for a secret message.
A rumour says that it was originally meant to be much harder to find the raider camp, which makes a lot of sense given how Stark talks about it being nigh on impossible. Supposedly you'd either have to find Bishop's map, or perform a quest involving this tribal guide somehow. Designer Chris Avellone has said that you were supposed to be able to talk Shadow-Who-Walks out of helping the raiders and thus "break their strength" (see below) without having to fight them.
In the northwestern part of the map there are three "merc leaders", having the combat armour look, each of them standing in front of a locked container with Dog Tags in them. Collect all three and go to the safe. First of all, examine it for traps, and if your Traps skill is decent (50% will do if you save first and try a few times) you can disarm the trap for a stick of Dynamite. Next use the numbers on the Dog Tags (just keep all three in your inventory) to open the safe for 500 xp. With Luck 9 it's possible to open the safe without the combination. In there you'll find amongst other things an Account Book, which you should hold on to.
Once you leave the barracks map after having killed most of the raiders (leaving four or less alive), you'll get a message saying you've broken their strength and 2000 xp. This means there'll be no more raider encounters in the area. You can now return to Vault City... Wallace and Stark just tell you to go to Lynette, but she'll reward you with 1000 xp and $1000 for wiping out the raiders, and if you have the Account Book with you, show her that for another 1000 xp and $500.
If you left any raiders alive in the base when you get the 2000 xp, they die and you don't get any xp for them (though you can loot their corpses), so make sure you finish them all off before leaving the map. This includes Shadow-Who-Walks. Maybe they get so angry they have a collective aneurysm.
If you have Bishop's Holodisk you can't show it to Lynette until after you give her the Account Book. Importantly, if you have both the book and the disk in your inventory when you report back to Lynette, you miss out on the reward for finding the Account Book and skip directly to Vault City quest 5. So drop the Holodisk first.
Broken Hills is one of the two mining towns in this game, unique when it comes to the way that humans, ghouls and mutants live together. If you put away your weapons, you can talk to Steve the town greeter and learn a few things. The first time you arrive here in the car, you'll hit poor Lumpy who gives you a reference to a special encounter in Fallout.
Liz runs the general store. If you have negative karma you can ask her what there is around to kill; if you get a bad reaction and annoy her she won't talk to you at all. Characters with high Steal can attempt to simply pick her table clean. She has some minor stuff in her basement (four containers with weapons, including a Combat Shotgun), but she won't let you go down there to begin with. With a good Sneak skill you can do it anyway (the check is harder at night whether Liz is actually in the room or not). To get into the basement with her permission, go to Phil's place, buy stuff and tip him for a total of $20 (because of a bug the tips aren't deducted from your money), whereupon he reveals the secret of the weapons cache. Return to Liz, ask about the weapons and tell her you heard about them from a reliable source. Then tell her you'll use the weapons on the mutants and she'll let you take them.
If when you ask Liz about the stash you choose the "it's all over town" line, you'll get stuck in dialogue mode. This is a serious bug that happens because the script tries to start a fight when you're still in dialogue. You can press 1 and Esc to exit, but you'll have to shut down the game entirely before you can play normally again. This also happens if you tell her "You" when she asks what you had in mind to kill, or if you fail a Speech check after giving her the "reliable source" line (save often!).
Liz restocks every 2-4 days, while Bill, Jacob and Holliday all restock every 3 days. For the latter three, prices will be significantly lower (50% in the case of Bill and the doctor) if you ask them to barter in dialogue instead of hitting the barter button. John L. Hunter points out that Liz's table restocks even after she is killed, though you still need Steal 25-30% to access it.
IN<4: Every time you trade with Liz, she takes a tenth of your money afterwards and calls it a "service charge". How's that for charity? Jacob only takes a small "tip". You need IN 2 to ask them to trade, but even if you have IN 1 you can get around this simply by pressing the barter button, which also circumvents the service charge. This means you have to pay their expensive rate, of course, but a stupid character wouldn't get Jacob's cheap rate anyway.
Marcus the mutant sheriff will join your party after you complete quests 1 and 2. You get 1000 xp for this, plus you can always grab his Minigun and stuff if you're not bringing him.
Talk to Bill if you want to work as a caravan guard on routes to Vault City (on the 21st each month), NCR (on the 11th) and Gecko (on the 1st). These caravan jobs suck compared to the ones in Redding, since you get only $200 per job, plus there are no return caravans, effectively leaving you stranded. For general behaviour of caravans, see Redding. Should Chad get killed or if you abandon a caravan, you don't get paid and there will be no more caravans. If you choose to shovel brahmin crap, you get $100 each time, and after you've done it five times you get the Expert Excrement Expeditor special perk which gives you +5% to Speech and 500 xp. Bill will also sell stuff.
Talk to Doc Holliday and listen to the story of his life. You'll get free healing from him (HP and damaged limbs except for eyes, same NPCs as Dr Troy in Vault City except he'll heal Laddie instead of Dogmeat and K-9), and also learn that he knows a certain Dr Fung in San Francisco, which is useful info. You can also get free healing if you ask what he does and banter a little, but you can only do that once, whereas you can get him to talk about his life over and over again. If for some reason you pay for healing he'll charge between $50 and $300 for each person. He'll sell you Stimpaks and stuff, and takes only half the price if you ask him to trade instead of hitting the barter button.
Only two containers on the western map have anything in them (except for the hidden footlockers, see below): one bookcase in Marcus' house which holds a Rubber Doll, and the small pot outside the house on the top right which holds a Cat's Paw. (Obviously these are for Typhon, along with the Rotgut from the bar.) The containers on the eastern Broken Hills map are all empty - the only item lying around is the Fuzzy Painting in Eric's house. Lazy, lazy level designers!
On the subject of "cheating within the workings of the game"... By the exit grid where you arrive in town, position your character between the exit and the the fence to the north, on the hex which is half offscreen. Then click on the other side of the fence and you'll end up there. Now, in the upper left corner of the map you'll find a few footlockers whose contents you can grab if you want to. They contain, from left to right: nothing, Jacob's stock, Holliday's stock and Bill's stock. All of them reset to full every three days, too, even Jacob's after you put him in jail. If the exit grid causes you trouble, instead go directly south, then work your way past the brahmin pen and the houses by clicking on the ground further away on the map. This way you can skirt around the map on the "outside" to reach the footlockers, even bypassing the exit grid on the right. The empty box is actually used for temporarily storing a shopkeeper's usual inventory while you're trading with them. As pointed out by John L. Hunter, you can stuff armed explosives into this box, then run quickly back and talk to a shopkeeper; after you leave dialogue they'll carry the explosives. Could be of interest if you want to try a really crazy assassination technique.
Talk to Typhon in the eastern part of town. Give him a Cat's Paw and wait one hour. Give him a Rubber Doll and wait for three hours. Give him a bottle of Rot Gut and he'll give you a clue as to where his hidden treasure might be. You also gain 2000 xp. The next part is purely optional. Go to the town well and manipulate it. You find the treasure, but it falls down the well, and you're too big to go down there. How appropriate that a small treasure hunter is just nearby! Talk to Micky and he goes down to retrieve... 10,000 Bottle Caps. Useless. And no, you can't get Micky back up again.
Dan, the worried spouse, is in the house northeast of the Old Ghouls' Home. Agree to look for his wife (charging him if you want to), then after you've found the dead bodies in quest 2, return to Dan and break the news to him in whichever way you choose for 500 xp. If you're evil, you can take his $500 and then tell him you're not going to look for her after all. This will not make you popular.
If you talk to the mad Professor in the lab coat, you can take Agility, Perception or Intelligence tests against his artificially smartened radscorpion. Take the AG and PE tests first for 500 xp each. You can match the scorpion with very low stats although you may have to try several times (it's impossible to actually outperform it). It turns out you can't win the IN test because the scorpion "cheats" at chess (or maybe it really is smarter). Time to look elsewhere for guidance. If you go to the field to the north you may notice a talking spore plant trying to draw your attention. Rrright. If you bring a Shovel you can help the plant by moving it to the Old Ghouls' Home for 1000 xp, and the plant will tell you how to beat the scorpion at chess. Return to the doctor and defeat the scorpion for 500 more xp. The scorpion will attack you, but just run away once and end combat and you won't have to kill it. Your party members will, though, if you don't park them somewhere else.
You can enter the mine to the north, where several super mutants are standing about. To the right inside the entrance there's a heap of rocks. Place the movement cursor just inside the wall and you'll notice you can go there. You get 1000 xp for discovering this secret area. On the floor is a guy who will get up automatically when you move next to him. Ask him who he is for another 500 xp; if you choose the other line, or if you're stupid, he runs away instead. Get the Uranium Ore from the footlocker. There's another hidden cave near the top right of the map, but it's empty.
There's an infinite experience bug here... if Stodgers is prevented from leaving the map, you can save and reload, and you'll be able to talk to him again with the same outcome. Saving will make him stop if he's running, as will entering combat mode. Placing an NPC in the narrow passage will ensure that Stodgers can't get anywhere at all, so that you can repeat this as many times as you like. Telling NPCs to wait means they won't take damage from the gas, but also that they won't level up with you if you take advantage of the bug.
Next bring the ore to the white ghoul in the refinery south of the caravan office. You'll have to fork out $1000 but you earn 500 xp. After the ghoul's done (takes a day) he'll offer to buy the ore back for $1500. You can either keep the ore (no use, Harold and Festus in Gecko won't even look at it), let him have it for $1500 and 300 xp, or let him have it for $1000, 1250 xp and some karma. I'd choose the latter.
There's an infinite money bug here... if you take the extra $500, you can talk to the ghoul over and over again, choosing the same line and gaining $1500 each time. Once you're satisfied, either keep the ore or give it to him (though you can't get any more xp). Real Fallout 2 players don't take advantage of poor stupid ghouls in this way.
Fix the mine's air purifier
Go to Zaius in the building next to the mine entrance, agree to go get the spare parts and fix the purifier. If you ask for money you can get anything from $500 to $1000 depending on your bartering skills (you need to leave and re-enter dialogue at least once to get the last increment, which requires well over Barter 100%); you get half of it right away. Next you'll have to go to New Reno (which appears on your map) and get the Mine Parts from Renesco, which is very straightforward (except that you may have to deal with car thieves, see the New Reno section, quest 2). Note that if you ask Zaius for money he won't tell you the password to get the parts for free!
Once you have the parts, return to the mine and head into it - leaving behind any party members who can't soak up about 30-50 damage without croaking. You need to use the Mine Parts on the purifier at the top of the map, so as the tunnels branch, go right, left, then left again, and you should be on the right track. As you run, you and all organic, non-canine party members plus the Robodog will occasionally take 10-15 damage, but unless you're all wimps it shouldn't be a problem, and it stops once you use the parts on the purifier (1500 xp). You can now kill off the vermin and even a deathclaw if you want to. Return outside for a reward from Zaius; if you asked for money you get the remaining half, if not you get a Combat Shotgun which is worth more.
There is one way to avoid damage from the radon gas in the mine - wearing any kind of Power Armor, although you probably won't have it at this point. Several other kinds of protection have been said to do the trick, including having the Dermal Impact Armor, carrying or using the Oxygen Tank, running through the mine in combat mode, and having the Toughness perk. These do not work; staying in combat mode in fact means you'll take more damage. After you read a number of Fallout 2 walkthroughs you get used to the idea that sometimes you'll be fed information which simply isn't true, speculation that at one point or another got written down as fact.
Find the missing people for Marcus
Talk to Marcus and ask him what's new. Better tell him you'll do this for free. Over in the east part of town, you may notice there are three entrances to the underground (outhouse behind Eric's, carpet two houses east of Eric's, and manhole in field). Go down, beat up the ants (or pick them off from a distance, because your NPCs will happily fire bursts of valuable ammo at the ants if they get the chance), and walk into the room with the mutilated bodies. You get 500 xp for this. (The bodies won't show up until you've actually got the quest.) If you examine the bodies you notice they've been shot, but it makes no difference if you do or not. Take the note from the severed female body and read it. Your character will say you'd better not tell Marcus about the note... and in fact, you can't. If you talk to Zaius he only sends you to Francis. Turns out Francis killed those people... in self-defence, he says. You'll have to let him go, for 1000 xp, because if you attack him the whole town comes to his aid. The next step is to tell Marcus about the bodies. You should put this off until you've done quests 4 and 5 though, because Marcus will put Jacob away if he hasn't already done so. If you asked for money before you get $500, else he hands you a Scoped Hunting Rifle which is worth more.
Beat Francis at arm wrestling
Francis is the super mutant in the bar. For you to have any realistic chance of beating him, your ST and EN should correspond to 9/9 or better (8/10 will work, though you may have to reload a lot). Taking two Buffout should do the trick. You need ST 8 just to take him on, and must be level 6 or higher. There's a random element, so save before trying. If you lose, you'll find yourself the not-so-proud owner of a Ball Gag. If you win, Francis gives you a Power Fist and you gain 350 xp. Make sure you do this before you confront him with the note in quest 2.
You can use 2 Buffout on Francis and wait 6 hours for his stats to drop, allowing you to beat him a little more easily (8/5 should be enough). The effect is smaller than if you use them on yourself, though, so this is for when you just can't get your own stats into range, or you live in fear of chem addiction. There's no point in saving after using the chems on him, since the game doesn't save such changes to critters and he'll be back to normal once you reload.
Break Manson and Franc out of prison
Talk to Jacob and don't tell him you like mutants (if you do you can't get this quest any more). You can go to Marcus right away and turn Jacob and Aileen in for 2500 xp... but that's unnecessary. Instead go to the jail, and make sure it's daytime and that you don't have a weapon ready, or the guards may shoot you on sight. There are basically three ways to solve the quest:
- With IN 7 and CH 7 you can talk the guard into giving you the key.
- You can kill the guards (beware that Minigun) without anyone else in town noticing and take the key.
- Unlock the door using Lockpick, or obtain the key through stealing (quite difficult even with good Steal) or barter (it's worth $0) and use that. You have to wait until the guard walks to the far end of the room, since he will stop you if he sees you tampering with the door (Sneak helps), and attack if this happens two times separated by more than a few seconds. A trick once you've unlocked the door is to walk into one of the adjacent rooms and one of your party members will probably walk through the jail door for you, assuming you have any.
Once the door is open you're teleported back to Jacob for 1500 xp. If you fought the guards or if you were given the key you don't have to free the prisoners to return to Jacob for the next quest, though you get no xp for this one until you return and open the door (but you can do this even after you turn Jacob in, in which case Franc and Manson end up in Jacob's house while Jacob remains in prison).
Talk to Manson through the bars before talking to Jacob, ask him about Broken Hills and choose the long answer. You'll get 300 xp for "preaching open-mindedness to Manson". If you talk to Franc before getting this quest and tell him you hate mutants, he sends you to Jacob with a recommendation.
Blow up the mine's air purifier
Jacob will give you this task after you complete quest 4. The objective is to bring the Explosive Switch to the mine purifier. Now's a good time to turn him in! Go to Marcus and tell him all about the evil plans and you gain 2500 xp. Jacob and his band will end up in the jail. The same thing happens if you tell Marcus where he can find the escaped convicts.
If you want to go through with the plan, run into the mine (see quest 1 for details) and use the switch on the purifier. (Using the switch after you expose the conspiracy will just make it disappear.) You'll gain 1500 xp and be teleported outside the mine. Return to Jacob and he'll say you can go loot Liz' basement for a reward (works the same as if you hear about it from Phil). You'll notice there are no mutants left in town except for Elmo the drunk, and Bill closes down his store and offers no more jobs.
Divert more electrical power to Eric's home
Eric's in the east part of town. Agree to get him more power for his air conditioning. Go to the power station at the entrance to town, and either talk Brian into giving Eric additional power using Speech (you only get one shot at this dialogue path), or use Science on the computer to the left, and you get 1000 xp. If you manage a critical success on the computer you get 1500 xp instead for optimizing the power grid. If you fail critically you'll get shocked for 10-15 points of damage. Return to Eric for a reward of either $150, one dose of Buffout (you won't be offered this if you already beat Francis), or extra karma and the location of NCR. I'd take the Buffout.
"How else could we grok their essence?"”— Josh and the Chosen One
Redding is the second of the two mining towns, or the first, depending on how you look at it. Like most of these towns, it's very loosely connected to the storyline (what is the storyline?); basically your actions here determine whether it's Vault City, New Reno or NCR that gets to benefit from the mining prospects.
Sheriff Marion has hurt his leg and needs a deputy. You need to be level 10 before he'll deem you worthy of the job. The first task he sets you means evicting a poor old widow. She's in the building to the south, next to the well. If this is your kind of work, tell her to scram, then collect the 1000 xp and $100 from the sheriff. Since Mayor Ascorti will be pleased with your performance, you can go talk to him and get a Beer each time. If you're good, instead give widow Rooney the $120 she needs and you get 1500 xp (you always get more xp being good!) plus the aforementioned cash reward, but no Beer. Although you can pay Rooney's debt directly to the mayor, don't do this as you won't get any xp. Proceed to quest 4 to see what the sheriff has in mind for you next, and remember to take everything in his house.
There's a bug here which actually goes for his next two quests as well (number 2 and 4 in the quest list): as long as you don't agree to take the next quest, Marion will give you whatever monetary reward you had coming every time you talk to him.
The sheriff gives you a badge, but it doesn't make any difference whether you bring it along or not. As far as the game is concerned you can dip it in chocolate and eat it the first thing you do. Also, if you're a Ranger when you come here, Marion will recognize you for such a one. (He doesn't if you talk to him after you do his quests.) This doesn't make any difference to anything, either.
This isn't very interesting, but you can kill Rooney, then use Sneak to talk to the sheriff (who will have turned hostile along with the rest of the town). He'll complain, but he'll give you your reward and tell you to get on with the next quest. Also you can go to Ascorti and get a funny dialogue out of it. Then load your previous save game, because sooner or later you'll have to fight everyone.
Jon Lynch: "In Redding, you can use the Doctor skill to heal the sheriff's broken leg, although he won't realize you did this and will still whine about it. Note that this will not work on the cook in Navarro."
Madam Modjeska south of the saloon will talk to you about politics. There's a guy standing about with a rifle who'll fill you in on strange goings-on and introduce you to the notion of wanamingos (not "wannamingos" as everyone (including Chris Avellone) seems to be spelling it). You may also notice a brat named Melchior Jr. who talks about his dad, a stage magician. You'll be running into Melchior Sr. later on, but it's nothing important.
Mayor Ascorti is the owner of the Ascorti's Ace casino and city hall. He'll offer to sell you the deed to the Great Wanamingo Mine for $1000, and once you clear it of wanamingos he'll buy it back for $2500. Plus you get 1000 xp for this. The cashier in the casino has a few thousand dollars to barter (replenishes every two weeks), and you can gamble as well providing your Gambling skill is at least 25%.
It takes about Gambling 80% to break even at the slot machines, but if you win too much the machine will stop functioning for one day. To break even at the craps table you need about Gambling 110%. With 120% you'll win slowly but steadily; just weigh down the 5 key for a while. Any more than that and you can win tens of thousands of bucks in a short time, though it beats me why anyone would want to spend skill points on Gambling before the point where they'd get almost infinite cash from looting guns anyway. As pointed out by Misha, the skill check is easier at lower bets and you can win at Gambling 100% if you press down 1 instead, although it will take longer. Note that to use a slot machine you must stand to one side of it; the game doesn't seem to care that the person blocking the machine is you. In v1.0 you didn't get any money from winning.
In the Malamute saloon there's a female prostitute. If you're male you can sleep with her for $60, and then she'll tell you a sad story about how her boyfriend broke his leg and all and ask for $200 so she can begin a new life. It's a waste of money and she won't (she'll ask for another $150 each time you talk to her after that). You can also rent a room here, which works the same as in Klamath.
Lou who owns the saloon won't talk to you if you've some non-human NPCs in your party (Lenny, Marcus, Robodog, Goris, Laddie or the Brain Bot (best brain only)), so you'll have to drop them off if you want to talk to her (which is usually only when you're doing quest 2).
After listening to Painless Doc Johnson and his assistant talk, ask him about the Jet problem in Redding. You can also buy some stuff from him (but he doesn't restock), or pay for healing (costs $50 (one person) or $100 (two or more) for HP, same NPCs as Dr Troy in Vault City, radiation and poison costs another $100). If you give him a dose of Jet Antidote you get 2500 xp. You can charge him $2000 for it, and it doesn't even lower your karma (although you do get 25 karma if you give it to him for free). He'll perform combat implant surgery cheaper than any other doctor in the game (assuming you found out about that in Vault City and can part with a Combat Armor for each as usual).
- Dermal Impact Armor: $5000, 2 days.
- Dermal Impact Asslt. Enhance.: $30,000, 5 days, CH -1.
- Phoenix Armor Implants: $8000, 3 days.
- Phoenix Assault Enhancement: $30,000 (though he says and checks for $48,000), 6 days, CH -1.
If anyone in your party is hurt or you are radiated, the opening dialogue will look a little different and you won't get the option to ask about implants, so you'll have to let him treat you or treat yourself first.
In the north part of town, where the mine headquarters are, you can get a job as a caravan guard going to Vault City (Ben Wade, $1000, on the 1st of odd months), New Reno (Savinelli, $1500, on the 21st of even months) or NCR (Stanwell, $2000, on the 11th of even months). The dates and pay are exactly the same when going in the other direction, except that odd months become even and vice versa. Here's a rough description of how caravans work:
- During each trip you'll face from zero to four encounters. The caravan leader will tell you if it's OK to move on ("Let's move out"). If it's a hostile encounter, you'll need to kill the bad guys (even if they don't initiate combat themselves).
- If you run off the map before the all-clear is given, this counts as abandoning the caravan and will put you on the world map. The caravan leader will effectively be dead, so you won't get any pay or more caravan jobs from him.
- You won't get to bring your car, and illogically the caravan path does not light up on the world map, although the specific squares where you have encounters do.
- If the caravan leader dies, he'll still be around invisibly to give the all-clear signal.
- If you steal from or attack caravan drivers or guards, the others won't care. Killing Stanwell, Wade or Savinelli turns Redding hostile, though.
- Sometimes you may have to run off an encounter map twice to make any progress.
- Beware the generally buggy behaviour of caravans. Things that can happen include the caravan "dissolving" on the world map although there was no obvious threat, and caravan leaders not being present on arrival or refusing to talk to you.
For the Redding caravans, if the caravan leader dies along the way but you still make it to your destination, a clerk should turn up (sometimes doesn't) and pay you a reduced wage or nothing at all. You can talk to him over and over again and get $50, $100 or $150 each time (he will only state the correct amount if it's $150). In any case there won't be any more caravans on that route.
If you run into New Reno mobsters, you must kill them to proceed with the caravan even though they count as good critters and aren't hostile. If you encounter a Den caravan, the slaves do not raise the "hostiles on map" counter when created, but decrease it when killed. Thus if you kill all of them (and it's hard to stop your fellow guards from doing so) the hostiles counter will actually drop below zero, which leads your caravan master not to realize that the encounter is over.
It's a bit of fun to watch the mole rat fights between 12.00 and 17.00. You can bet on them and win about 50% of the time. If you have an IN below 4 the manager just takes some of your money. No one cares if you kill the caged rats for the xp, but this can cause the fights to bug out.
Don't even think about looting the graves, since they're all empty. South of the cemetery there's a morbid kind of restaurant which seems to serve no useful function (except for hinting that something's going on underground). If you ask Josh about valuables you get a free Beer. He doesn't like weird party members either.
Now for a description of the Redding underground areas. On the downtown map there are three entrances: the well south of Sheriff Marion's, a manhole in the Malamute saloon, and a manhole in the back of the casino. There are a few containers and two wanamingos down here (don't miss the skeleton). Go north and you find a cave with ladders up to the well and opened grave in the mining camp. Rats abound, and two more wanamingos can be found. Go west and you reach a system of caves infested with wanamingos. Next go down a ladder to the main level of the mine where the most wanamingos are. Once you kill them all, you get a message that you've cleared the mine, accompanied by 3500 xp. The elevator to the west will take you up to the derelict Wanamingo Mine building. You can of course enter the place from this direction as well, but it may be a little more difficult.
You should just about be able to take the wanamingos on if you've done everything described previously in this walkthrough and are at level 12 or so (with NPCs). Combat Shotguns rule, while a 10mm SMG does next to no damage to these armoured critters. If you're the sniping kind, shots to the eyes are effective at long range, while if they get too close (and it's hard to stop them) you should try to cripple their legs. Crippling any limb will make them flee, but going for the legs makes them worse at it.
If you enter the casino from the manhole, and then kill the guard behind the metal door quietly (using Super Stimpaks or planting explosives), you can loot the fridge and footlocker for several thousand Mine Scrips as well as the contents of the store, but not much more. Beware that if you let the guard see you and then leave, he'll shoot on sight when you return, so be prepared to off him as soon as you open the metal door.
Kill Frog Morton
Your fourth and final mission for Sheriff Marion. Morton's gang resides in the old Wanamingo Mine building to the west and only appears when you get this quest, along with some mines dotted among the ruins (15 in all). You might want to go to this map before that so you can pick off the rats at your leisure. Morton's gang will be heavily armed, but at level 10-12 you should be able to gun them down as they come pouring out of the building. There are also three men in the buildings to the south. You gain 3000 xp when the whole gang is dead, and $1000 from the sheriff. Marion then informs you that Froggy has three brothers who'll be coming after you, namely Snake, Toad and Newt Morton. You'll run across these on the world map, one by one, but, well, that's just more weapons and ammo for you.
Frog's H&K G11 is a neat weapon at this point, problem is you probably won't have much ammo for it yet. Buster in NCR can sell you some, and there's a heap in the Toxic Caves. If you can kill Frog before he can attack, you'll have 100 rounds to use on the wanamingos.
You can get to the area behind the large building if you go to the top of the screen, just left of the exit grid, then click on the ground on the other side of the fence (if you don't position your character correctly you might step on the exit grid trying to get there). There is nothing to see or pick up back there, however.
Find out who cut the whore
Marion's third task (for some reason they're numbered in reverse chronological order). Go to the Malamute saloon and talk to Lou for a clue: a Morningstar Mine scrip (though you don't actually get one). Well then, go to the Morningstar Mine and ask around. The offender, Obidiah Hakeswill, will confess to the crime as soon as you adress him, whereupon you can kill him ($500 from Marion but no quest xp), let him go (no xp and no money from the sheriff) or take him into custody (1250 xp and $500).
There are two possible bugs here. Firstly, killing Hakeswill before you get the quest and returning to the sheriff will earn you the reward of $500 and an offer to do quest 1, meaning you can no longer get the first two jobs if you didn't already. Secondly, as found by Szappy, if you let Hakeswill go and then insult the sheriff, dialogue may revert to before you even got the first job, though this will have no actual effect.
Find the excavator chip
There are two chips to be found in the mine, both on the lowest level with the toughest wanamingos. You get one from the excavator, and there's another one found on the ground to the northeast, next to one of the manufacturing doohikeys. Sadly you can only sell one of them, so head over to either Dan McGrew or Marge LeBarge and sell it for $1000 and 2500 xp. Which of them you choose has no effect other than it may decide which ending you get for Redding.
Basically, Dan supports New Reno and Marge supports NCR. It seems the designers couldn't quite make up their minds, though, as Jimmy Hoffa has them mixed up, and if you sell the chip to McGrew then LeBarge will go on about "those prissy NCR bastards" McGrew is in league with...
Break up the bar brawl
This is Sheriff Marion's second task for you. Head into the bar and talk to the two miners who are facing off. If you ask them to back down, they will, but nothing happens. Therefore you have to threaten them with some of the old ultra-violence and put one of them or both in jail (but don't provoke them into a fight, the whole town will turn against you). Except for what kind of comments the Sheriff and McGrew will give you, it doesn't matter one bit what you do. Your reward is 1500 xp and $300 from the sheriff.
You cannot complete this quest by talking both parties out of a fight, you have to put someone in jail. The patch notes state that getting Bette to back down should set the quest to complete, but in actuality it only sets the quest variable to the same value that it would get if you ran out the door! (Getting Caminetto to back down does nothing in either version.) So essentially, all this "bugfix" did was make a lot of people think there's a way of finishing the quest properly without throwing anyone in jail, although there never was. I always arrest them both for fairness' sake. In case you really must know, Kokoweef is the "good" mine, but let's not judge a bar brawler by her employer, shall we?
New Reno can be a little daunting, since it's a big place with lots of things to do, and a lot of things to think about, such as how to make sure one doesn't piss off any of the local crime bosses, and where did that damn car go? (Don't worry, it's around - see quest 2.) This city is run by the families Mordino, Salvatore, Bishop and Wright, of which only the last ones are not scum of the earth. Usually if you turn down a job, speak to a boss disrespectfully, ask too many questions or return to them before finishing a job, they may refuse to give you any more jobs or, more likely, attack. Toe the line if you want to keep your options open.
For each boss there is a chain of quests, upon the completion of which you become a Made Man of that family. This means you get a popularity boost among the citizenry, free sex at the Cat's Paw, special services at the New Reno Arms (but seemingly no discount on Eldridge's normal stock, nor Renesco's), and a shot in the head if you ever go to visit any of the other families. If you don't fancy this you can still complete the final quest for each family as long as you don't return to the boss for your reward, which is when you become a Made Man. But, since you lose the Made Man reputation if you turn against your own family, it's possible to complete and collect the rewards for all quests in New Reno. There are a few things you have to think about, though. Don't become a Made Man of the Salvatores until you've got the quest from Mordino to kill Salvatore. And if you play a "good" game, become Made Man of the Wrights last so you can let them live. (Remember you can still go to the Sierra Army Depot for equipment to help you take out the other families, as long as you don't return to Wright and claim your reward.)
For each family boss, there's a way to assassinate them (noted below) without getting blamed for it. Note that killing a boss "silently" (Super Stimpaks etc.; see the NCR section) or in these special ways will not remove your Made Man status, but attacking anyone in the family openly will.
If you have a family quest active when you turn that family hostile, the quest will be crossed out (set to failed) in your quest list. If you manage to talk to your employer without him attacking you may get some unexpected dialogue in this case (this happens, for instance, if you kill the guard who goes to check Bishop's safe and then talk to Bishop).
It's possible to be listed on your character sheet as Made Man for all four families at the same time, as outlined by Sébastien Caisse: "Once you've become a Made Man for a specific family, this family won't attack you any more. First you need to do all the possible quests for them, and not collect the final reward, and not assassinate Salvatore (until you're a Made Man for him). The trick is basically to sneak past everyone and collect your final reward by talking to the bosses before they engage in combat." Ryan P. Fialcowitz and Joshua Jansen then looked into the particulars and found there is another constraint: you must become Made Man for Bishop first, since Bishop's dialogue will change for the worse if you're already with some other family. This means that if you want all four you must end up allied with either the Wrights or the Mordinos. You will need to use a combination of Sneaking and running in combat mode to reach all bosses - saving a lot is recommended. Getting through the door to Salvatore is one of the tricky parts, but John Gaw points out: "If you talk to Mason while on good grounds, you can go into attack mode later and open the door with no problem whatsoever." Two more things should be noted. Firstly, despite what your character sheet says you will only be Made Man for one family at a time as far as the game is concerned, so there's no real reward for doing all this. Secondly, attacking the family you joined last will remove all Made Man labels from your list of reputations, but attacking any other family, including one you joined earlier, has no effect on them.
IN<4: You can pretty much forget about most things in New Reno, since you can't join any family (or do any other quest). Also you can't get Golgotha, Stables or the Sierra Army Depot on your world map.
If you're a Prizefighter, Porn Star, Slaver or Made Man and use Sneak in New Reno you may receive comments from its inhabitants that could lead you to believe it's harder to sneak in these cases; however, they don't change the actual probability of being detected.
Arriving on Virgin Street, one of the first people you meet is Jules. He'll try to sell you drugs (restocks some Jet and Stimpaks every 12-24 hours), but can also sell information for money, between $25 and $100 for each family depending on your Barter skill. You can get this information cheaper from Father Tully, but you should at least get Jules to mention the names of the families. He'll also give you a recommendation to the New Reno Arms (which does nothing) and the Cat's Paw (which gives you a discount). Make sure you follow the Jet conversation thread, and the Stables and Golgotha will turn up on the world map. If you ask him about Vault 13 he puts Vault City on your world map (this goes for Mrs Bishop, Father Tully and Mrs Wright as well), and talking about Redding puts that on the map.
Over at the Cat's Paw you can get laid, which on occasion gives you a temporary +1 stat boost for one hour:
- Oral attention: Strength.
- Basic, dirty sex (CH<6): Agility.
- Full body workout (CH>5): Agility.
- Just talk: Intelligence.
- "Special... dramatic... request" (IN>5): Strength.
The stat boost is actually imparted by an item that Miss Kitty tries to use on you or whichever NPC (would be ST in that case). Apparently most often something gets in her way and you don't get the bonus, though you can sometimes see her running a little bit and then returning to her position.
If you bring Marcus for some "action" at the Cat's Paw and talk to him afterwards, he reveals that Mutants aren't actually sterile. So much for Vree's autopsy report. :) (Though Chris Avellone says super mutants are really sterile, which settles that I suppose.)
There are two chem dealers in the street (one of which has an Empty Hypodermic for sale; a few prostitutes throughout New Reno also have Hypodermics in case you collect them) and one in the back of the Desperado casino. The bartender in the Desperado will sell you beer and such stuff. You can gamble here, but the croupiers all carry Loaded Dice so you can figure your chances. See Redding for a note on gambling.
New Reno bartenders will charge you more if you're a Prizefighter, if you're a Made Man for their family, or if you finished the game, and you ask them to trade in dialogue. Drug dealers charge you more if you've finished the game, if you're a Prizefighter, if you're a Porn Star, or if you're a Made Man for any family, and you ask them to trade in dialogue. Drug dealers also correctly charge you more if you carry a lot of money (which in their eyes amounts to $200 or more), but you can still circumvent this by pressing the barter button.
If you plant more than one pair of dice on a casino dealer before talking to her, the dice will all disappear, and a dealer with no dice will tell you that her table has been closed down due to someone tampering with the dice. This is a remnant of an unimplemented feature where you could improve your chances by planting Loaded Dice (the dealers would originally have been equipped with normal ones).
Little Jesus at the bar can give you an introduction to Big Jesus Mordino if you have ST 6 or are wearing any kind of combat or power armour. If you talk to him with a Knife, Combat Knife, Ripper or Throwing Knife in your hand, he'll offer to teach you +5% Melee Weapons for $200 (you can turn him down and return later). If you're female and have at least CH 6 or are a Porn Star you'll have to have sex with him instead. Yech. However, if you do this and have a good sex rating, you'll gain +10% to Melee Weapons. He can also put Redding on your world map, and the Stables if you talk to him after becoming a Made Man of the Mordinos.
You may notice that Big Jesus' health isn't what it should be. Use a dose of Jet, Psycho, Buffout or (the cheapest option) Nuka-Cola on him; he'll have a heart attack, you get 1000 xp and can just walk out of there. Isn't it ironic? Unlike Boss Salvatore you don't get these extra xp if you kill Big Jesus in combat, so once you turn on the Mordino family this should be your first move.
If you're a Slaver you can sell some of your pardners to Big Jesus (Vic for $100, Cassidy for $100, Miria for $250, Davin for $200, Brain Bot (best brain only) for $500, Robodog for $500). To get this option you must either speak to Little Jesus about the subject, or ask Big Jesus about his health (Doctor 51% or Science 76%) or about Richard Wright (if you have that quest) and then say you have more questions. You can haggle once for each NPC and double the price with a successful Barter check, but any more than that and he kicks you out. Like Barkus, Big Jesus bids on one slave at a time starting with Miria/Davin. The slaves you sell don't disappear, though, they just leave your party and remain standing where they were. If you talk to them their dialogue will be as if you never recruited them in the first place, and things can get rather screwed up (e.g. if you try to sleep with Miria again the game gets stuck in a permanent blackout).
Savinelli, the caravan master for New Reno, will leave from Virgin Street for Redding on the 21st of each odd month, and pays $1500 if you hire on as a guard.
On 2nd Street, Jagged Jimmy J is the prominent Jet dealer. Listen to his story about his scar and if you have CH 6 he gives you 2 Jet for free. He can put the Stables on your map if you ask him where he gets his Jet. There are two more chem dealers further up the street. The three musicians don't do much.
Tom Hibbs found a bug: "An infinite number of Jet vials can be obtained from Jagged Jimmy J. After the first 2 that he gives you, he continues to give 1 free Jet each time you thank him and ask what else is in stock (this doesn't work if you just click the barter button). By seeing JJJ's wares and then clicking done without bartering anything, your Jet supply can climb infinitely." This only works the first time you get to this node.
IN<4: If you are a Made Man, Porn Star or a Prizefighter or if you finished the game, talk to Jimmy, and when he recognizes you choose the "mortal coil" line. This will paralyze his brain so that you can take all his stuff, which is not a lot.
If you go into the Jungle Gym and talk to Stuart Little you can box. You'll meet four increasingly difficult opponents: Joqq ($50, 500 xp), Pete McKneely ($50, 750 xp), Evan Holyfeld ($400, 1000 xp), and the Masticator ($1000, 2500 xp). This is assuming you get 50% of the winnings; with Speech 76% and Barter 76% you can get 75% instead. You also get kill xp for those boxers you manage to beat to death; this should happen some of the time and counts as a knockout. Other ways of winning include "normal" knockout (if you score a critical hit that knocks your opponent unconscious or if he himself manages a critical failure), technical knockout (if you make him flee), and points (if you somehow manage to make a fight last 12 full rounds and win the majority of them by landing more punches than your opponent). If you win four matches you get the Prizefighter reputation which lets you empty the gym lockers, makes you popular in New Reno and gives you a +5% bonus to your Unarmed skill.
Should you lose a fight, you must ask Little for a rematch immediately or you won't get another chance. You'll then go up against another boxer (your royalties will drop to 25%, but the xp is the same). You can only convince Little to give you one more chance (unless you exploit a bug, see note below), which means you can fight five matches in all, and there's a tempting reason to do that (see another note below).
Boxing isn't very difficult, at least not on normal difficulty. In fact, without having spent a single point on Unarmed (it was at 65%) and using normal gloves, I was able to easily kill the first two boxers in the first round, then win by knockout against the two tough ones. If you find you don't inflict any damage, go for aimed blows to the head. Just remember to ask Little for some time to rest so you can save before each match, and heal up if necessary (during matches you regain a number of HP equal to your EN at the end of every full round).
If you have the Plated Boxing Gloves in your inventory when you talk to Stuart Little, you'll be fighting with them in the ring. You always get a normal pair of Boxing Gloves in your inventory just before the first match, but if you enter subsequent fights without any gloves at all in your inventory, you end up in the ring with no gloves!
At the start of every match, if you have either kind of gloves, you gain a permanent +3 bonus to your Damage Threshold for normal damage (to a maximum of 100), -1 to your DT for plasma and explosive damage, and a bonus to Damage Resistance for each listed damage type except fire (to a maximum of 90%). If you only have normal gloves you get +1% DR for all four types, but if you have plated ones you get +2% for normal damage, +5% for laser damage and +1% for the others. (There's also a -1% penalty to your unlisted EMP resistance, but this doesn't matter in the least; your electricity resistance is unaffected.) You get to keep these bonuses even if you lose that match. Therefore, in the fourth match, you can kick your opponent, ask Little for another shot, then win the final match (the Masticator's replacement is significantly weaker and doesn't bite) and you'll have got a fifth toughness bonus for only $500. Even factoring in the DT penalties that's better than any combat implant! Silencer muses: "Perhaps the resistance boosts were just supposed to be temporary and not permanent - that'd explain why plated gloves give you better ones, since you can block and shield your sorry face better with them." That only covers one damage type, though.
Before you win the Prizefighter title it's actually possible to get infinite rematches, although this is the result of two bugs. If you've won the game, Little's dialogue will always go as if you're talking to him for the first time, meaning you can ask about boxing, negotiate a deal and get your "first" match (though the game keeps track of how many opponents you have defeated). If you have still not won the game, you have to leave dialogue after losing a fight, talk to him again, ask for a rematch and fail a Speech check (which is impossible if you're at 100% or above). He will then let you box again. Note that the only reason for doing this is to up your resistances, which is a bit cheesy. In fact, knowing that you can raise them arbitrarily puts a damper on my desire to get that fifth bonus, since I usually have no problem taking advantage of limited glitches but have no interest in the unlimited ones.
If you lose by knockout there may be a bug that makes you lose the rematch before you even get to start fighting. This is because when combat ends directly after you score a critical failure that makes you lose your next turn, the game remembers that you have a lost turn coming up, and if that happens to be at the start of the next fight you lose again. Simply entering combat mode once in between the fights to get rid of this "debt" should take care of the matter (assuming you wouldn't rather reload after such an unfortunate occurrence).
If you have about 115 HP or fewer and the Masticator hits you, you may get the message "In the heat of the fight, the Masticator tears your ear off." If you look in your inventory you'll now have a Player's Ear item... and your CH drops by 1 permanently. This is not so good, so you should probably do what the game says and reload. If you keep fighting, though, and have Unarmed at about 160% or higher, you may end up with a Masticator's Ear as well - vengeance is sweet! No use for it, I'm afraid, but it's worth $750. In the unpatched version losing your ear could give you a bonus to your CH, because the command to change the stat was being used incorrectly. This bonus would be equal to your current CH minus one, except if this would take your new CH above 10 in which case nothing would happen.
At the beginning of each round starting with the second, after the ring girl appears and the other boxer runs towards you, there's a small window where you can press A to enter combat mode. You can use this extra round to attack your opponent, or you can use it to kill the ring girl. The latter changes nothing except that the ring girl will be lying in a pool of blood instead of walking around and saying "Round 3!" or whatever. Well, I thought it was hilarious anyway. If you manage to kill your opponent in this combat round, you will be stuck forever inside the ring after the announcer makes a brief appearance. You can get an odd item - the Special Boxer Weapon, a useless sort of club - by killing the ring girl, then knocking a boxer unconscious on the same hex and looting his body before the combat round ends. There's another opportunity to enter combat mode right at the end of a match where you can kill the announcer (if you don't manage this in one hit you'll have to keep pressing A), but again this will leave you trapped.
At the Golden Globes you can work as a "fluffer" for $5, which also gets you poisoned. If you're married you can let your spouse do it instead for $3. If you have CH 9 or are popular in New Reno (which means being either a Made Man or a Prizefighter) you can audition for porn stardom. To succeed you need EN 8, AG 8 and "experience", which translates to a mess of weighted stats and perks. If you pass the screen test you can shoot a movie each month for $500 (if you have IN 8, CH 8 or Speech 75%) or $200 (if you don't) and get the Porn Star reputation which lets you empty one more bookcase at the Golden Globes and makes you popular in New Reno (strangely, your spouse offers no comment). The first time you also get 1500 xp.
After the first time you won't be allowed to make a film if you're addicted to Jet. If you insist on shooting anyway, the Corsican Brother won't talk to you again (but you get to keep your Porn Star status).
After you defeat the Enclave you can come here and star in a special movie for $2000, even if you were never a Porn Star. Stupid characters get paid for it, too. You can't make any more regular movies, though.
You can gamble in the Shark Club, and buy drinks. There's a bearded guy with a Hunting Rifle standing around sometimes and you can ask the bartender who he is, but he doesn't do anything except that when you fight Bishop's men he'll fight with them (there is a dialogue file for him but it's not used in the game). In the basement you find the Masticator and a boxing ring which is never used (legend has it that the final boxing fight was supposed to take place in here before an audience), but pick up the Plated Boxing Gloves for use in the boxing matches.
The stand-up comedian is one of the true highlights of the game. Make sure you hear all his routines. There are eight regular ones, and there is a special routine if you bring Myron. After you beat the Enclave he has a new one with you in it. There should have been an eleventh line after the Enclave if you managed to impregnate Angela or Leslie Anne Bishop ("So did you hear about the stupid Bishop daughter that got knocked up?"); he doesn't actually say it due to a bug, but he does blow up to the amusement of the onlookers.
Don't kill the Masticator in the basement if you're planning to box, because this will make Stuart Little disappear. The Masticator will actually count as dead after you've faced him in the ring, so if you lost to him and are going for a rematch, you can't leave the map in between.
On the first floor, tell the guards by the stairs that you've brought Moore's briefcase (you must have it with you) or they won't let you pass. Once you've got their permission to go up, you can use the stairs at any time even though they'll say you can't if you ask them. Nearby in a pool table is the Magic 8-Ball! With a LK of at least 8, use it and you get to read a few clues and humourous comments, which include:
- A clue to listen to what Curtis says in Vault City to get the Wrench.
- A clue to set Bess free in Modoc after selling her.
- A clue to get the Hintbook from Father Tully after the game.
- A hint that you need high ST and EN to beat Francis at arm wrestling.
- Mention of the existence of the Easter Egg.
- Information about the "Trash" cross in Golgotha.
- The secret password to a computer in the Vault City vault.
- Information about the Desperado toilet with the grenades.
Male characters can sleep with Angela Bishop, but if you follow her to her room and then turn her down she'll cry rape and Bishop's guards will attack, which is bad. Female characters can scare her pretty good, but it doesn't do anything. If you are wearing power armour you'll have to remove it before talking to her.
Characters of either sex can sleep with Mrs Bishop any number of times if they meet with her approval, which requires either ST 6 or CH 6; she'll ask you to join her for a drink as you leave conversation. If you refuse you must find a dialogue option to tell her you'll be back, or else she won't talk to you again. If you follow her upstairs and then refuse to sleep with her, you'll need to use Speech to tell her you have an appointment with Jules or she'll call for the guards. After you've slept with her and left conversation, "talk" to her until she mumbles the combination to her safe, then Lockpick it to get the stuff inside. If you have IN 9, you can get an additional goody here. First you must ask her downstairs if she knows anything about the G.E.C.K. or Vault 13 (which means you must not have found them yet) and get her to mention Vault City. In the conversation after you sleep with her you'll then be able to ask her if she is from Vault City, and eventually she lets you have the Pip Boy Lingual Enhancer hidden in her safe (250 xp) which can be used for a permanent +10% to Speech and 500 xp. Neat! Some other pillow talk stuff:
- If you've tried to open Mr Bishop's safe but didn't yet, you can get the combination to that from Mrs Bishop if you ask about Mr Bishop (you'll still have to disarm the trap).
- If you sleep with Mrs Bishop after Mr Bishop has passed on, ask about her family and tell her she should move on (IN 7) for 1000 xp.
- You can get NCR and/or Vault City on the world map by asking about her husband's plans.
- How to kill Mr Bishop - see the assassination note below.
If you have really, really lousy stats (like, your ST, EN and AG were all lowered to 1 in a freak accident with a character editor), Mrs Bishop falls asleep during lovemaking, so you won't get to ask her about anything. She'll still murmur the combination to the safe.
Sleeping with Ms or Mrs Bishop with a male character may create a new ending for New Reno depending on what else you do here. If you have a Condom in your inventory it'll be used up, though, and will prevent this.
There's a bug here that could startle you a bit. When going with Ms or Mrs Bishop, if you save and reload the game while on the top floor, your entire party will have disappeared when you return to the first floor. To fix this, sleep with either of them again (they'll return downstairs when the game loads the map anew, you can go down to the basement of the casino to make this happen) and your NPCs should be back. Or you could just drop everyone from your party before talking to your lady of choice. You may also experience car trunk deprival symptoms in this situation, but it should return once you drive to another map. Interestingly, NPCs can earn levels while invisible. Fighting Lenny in NCR will restore to visibility any party members that normally disappear during that fight (they'll appear when you move to another map).
Fall_ark found out how to exploit the invisibility bug to recruit an army. With CH 10, fill your party up to the 5-NPC limit, then make it disappear. Other NPCs will now think your party is empty, so you can get them to join you until you are again at the normal limit. When this is done, turn your "old" party visible again, and finally mop up those NPCs who will join you regardless of the current party count: Miria/Davin, Laddie, K-9 (initially), pariah dog (optionally). You could get evil Brain Bot for free as well, but you don't have to, since the good one can be fit within your "regular" party of ten. Minor points to consider: 1) Once your army is assembled you probably won't want to tell anyone to leave since getting them back will be a lot of work, and it may not even be possible to get back up to full strength by repeating the procedure. 2) Invisible party members may cause minor problems in places like Vault City and NCR, though this should be easy to plan around. Being Captain in Vault City helps greatly if you plan to go back there later, but avoid Lynette. 3) Since you're cheating anyway, you might as well use the save/load chem trick to get your CH high enough using Mentats, if needed. 4) If you don't want to fight Navarro when you come for K-9 with your huge party, you can prep it in advance and assassinate Schreber and "Snookie" to establish a clear path from the vent.
It's not recommended to steal from Mrs Bishop; if you fail, a guard is supposed to come running, but this causes my game to freeze. It seems to work for Ms Bishop, though: she runs away, and a guard comes running to attack.
You can also crack Angela Bishop's safe (if you followed her to her room, it will already be open). Mr Bishop's safe is trapped, so use Traps on it before picking the lock. If your safe-cracking skills aren't what they should be, you can place some Dynamite in front of the safe to set off the trap and unlock the safe. If you set off the trap in whichever way, you should head for the far corner of the screen as a Bishop guard will run into the room to investigate briefly (fighting him will turn the others hostile, although it may not be apparent right away). The safe contains a Raiders Map which puts the raider base on your world map if you didn't find it already, and a Bishop's Holodisk which you should take to Lynette in Vault City. If you leave the map and return, the safe will be re-trapped and locked.
You can also open the other two safes with Dynamite, and this will cause the guard to come running as well. If you try to pick a safe and fail the Lockpick check, then there's a small chance proportional to your LK that you can open the safe by spinning the dial randomly. This works for Mrs Bishop's safe as well even though it cannot be cracked normally.
If you wiped out the raiders, then if you ever turn down a job offered by Bishop he'll know you did it and say you have to take the job (without pay) to even the score. (He may say you had Skynet with you even if you never met the freaking bot yet - he really means Sulik, but the variables are mixed up.) If you didn't kill the raiders, but slept with Ms and/or Mrs Bishop, he'll use that as leverage instead with the same results. If you still won't do it, he'll attack. Getting into these conversations at all is bad, as you can see from the ending of quest 10. If you do become Made Man and then talk to Bishop again he'll start up these dialogues (assuming you did anything to offend him) and you'll have no choice but to fight him.
The way to assassinate Mr Bishop isn't very obvious. First you have to sleep with Mrs Bishop. In bed, ask her about her husband, ask her if they love each other, then about Mr Bishop's "other pursuits". You'll now get the option to ask if she wants you to kill him. With Traps 76% you can suggest an "accident", and Mrs Bishop then tells you about the trap on Mr Bishop's safe. Use Repair (again you need 76%) on the safe to change the combination. Go downstairs and wait 10 minutes with your Pipboy and you'll hear a boom from upstairs, which may kill Mr Bishop - at other times I've seen it do only 1 point of damage to him. You get no xp for this, though. If you already disarmed the trap, the game will tell you to replace it before you can change the combination. Attempting to do so will crash the game, however. The solution to this is to go to the basement (changing maps) and return, whereupon the trap will be re-armed.
It's not a good idea to "teleport" to the second floor by sleeping with Ms or Mrs Bishop before you've got permission from the guards to see Mr Bishop, or he'll attack if he sees you on the way out (keep close to the wall, try to run past in combat mode, or Sneak if you have to). Later on it may not matter as much, since Mr Bishop doesn't seem to mind that much that you're sleeping with his wife as long as you're working for him, but as usual if you talk to a boss too many times before finishing a job you may find yourself looking at dialogue choices which all lead to combat. To be safe, only follow the ladies upstairs when you were going to talk to Bishop anyway.
In Salvatore's Bar you can buy drinks, and there's a guy named Bill who does nothing.
To kill Boss Salvatore, simply steal his Oxygen Tank. In order to make a true assassination, for which you get 2000 xp, three conditions need to be met: 1) Salvatore must not carry an Oxygen Tank, 2) you must carry the Poison Tank from the Desperado basement (scripting error), and 3) Salvatore must not be hostile. You can also get 500 xp if you "whack" Salvatore somewhat less subtly, or if you don't have the Poison Tank. In this case Mason will turn hostile, but you can still get away without a fight by leaving the place while waiting for Salvatore to snuff it. Note that if you steal the Oxygen Tank, wait for Salvatore's "attack" to begin and then plant the tank back onto him, he'll call for the guards.
Over in the commercial district the junkies accumulate Jet during the game for some reason, I've seen them carry 15-25 apiece. Renesco the Rocketman sells stuff (restocks every 2-5 days), and he can tell you about Redding's Jet problem (puts Redding on the map), or put the NCR and Vault City on the map if you ask him about the G.E.C.K. Pissing him off with the Arroyo story or in any other way doesn't seem to have any lasting effect. Using the "teeth as a necklace" line will make his wares more expensive, but only until you leave dialogue. If you're here for the Broken Hills mine parts, tell him the password if you got it from Zaius, or you'll have to pay $100 for them ($200 if you try to haggle). The latter causes the debugging message "GIVE_RENESCO_CAPS 100" (or "200") to appear in the message window. Quaint. If you kill him the Mine Parts appear on his body if he didn't already give them to you.
Here's also where you can obtain one of the most obscure items in the entire game: the Pip Boy Medical Enhancer! You can give the Spectacles (from Broken Hills) to him and ask for a favour or a discount, but don't ask for a discount - it doesn't have any effect, and this way you don't get the Enhancer. Instead choose any of the other two lines, and then when you talk to Renesco you'll have the option of asking him how the glasses are. Do this 20 times and he'll become so exasperated he gives you the Enhancer, which upon consumption yields 500 xp and a permanent Doctor +10%!
Eldridge at the New Reno Arms will sell you stuff (restocks every 1-3 days), upgrade weapons, and sell you a Computer Voice Module for $3000 (you can talk it down to $2500 with a Barter check, or $1500 if you have CH 9 or make a critical Barter check) in case you didn't get one from Vault City. He'll warn you and then attack if you walk behind the fence. However, there's nothing stopping you from entering through the back door and looting his place. Don't do this at night when Eldridge is in the back, though, or the dogs will attack. Look for the staircase behind some metal shelves. Once you're in the basement, look out for Small Energy Cells on the ground as well as "hidden" containers. In here you'll find what's probably your first Electronic Lockpick, which means you can now go back to the Toxic Caves. Algernon is the guy who does the tinkering for Eldridge, and he'll do every kind of weapon upgrade for free if you just give him the item; if you use his services, make sure it's daytime before you go back up again. If you kill Algernon and then ask Eldridge if he can upgrade weapons, he says there's been an accident and they don't do it any more. :)
Being a Made Man of any family will give you access to Eldridge's special stock, which includes a Bozar and a Super Sledge. Which items he has at a particular time is slightly random, just like shops in general. If you don't see what you want, try leaving and re-entering the barter window; if that doesn't work, return at a later date (2-4 days). Should you kill Eldridge this stock will appear in his corpse along with his regular wares, even if you were never a Made Man.
After you've been to the Enclave, Eldridge becomes a little bugged. If you buy stuff from him he says you'll get a discount but he overcharges you horribly (this is the same reversed barter modifier bug as in Vault City and with the casino bartenders), and if asked for upgrades he always attacks (because the script points to the wrong node).
If Father Tully is lying drunk in the back of the church, rest for two hours and he'll be awake and ready to answer questions about the New Reno families if you give him any kind of booze (you must have heard of a family to be able to ask about it). You should get him to tell you about the Salvatores and their laser weapons, other than that it's nothing crucial. Should you be Married, you can let Tully divorce you for a bottle of alcohol. Your spouse will run away bitterly and never be seen again, and from then on you are Separated. Watch out that they don't make away with precious items of yours (their inventory will actually disappear once the ceremony ends, since the person running away is technically a different critter).
You can loot the poor box for -3 karma. Better money-for-karma ratio than in the Modoc well, anyway. If you ask Father Tully for money to buy hootch he'll rob the box for you, but you still suffer the karma drop. You can also donate at least one coin to gain 3 karma. What's more, both the gain and the loss happen only once, so you can withdraw your donation and return for more every week. In the back of the church there's a small garden with 2 Broc Flowers and 3 Xander Roots. Nice detail, easily missed.
If you return to Father Tully after finishing the game, he'll give you the Fallout 2 Hintbook which gives you 10,000 xp every time you use it and raises all your skills to 300% (possibly 299% if tagged). While on that topic, New Reno is one of the two places (Vault City being the other) where people will have new dialogue or floating text after you complete the game. Notably, there's the line about using the Mutated Toe on Horrigan.
If you enter the East Side during daytime there'll be children running around outside the Wright mansion; if they're not there, wait until noon, exit and re-enter the map. (Grab the 5 Rocks!) Talk to them to learn they're playing "metal insects". Don't threaten to kill them, or the Wrights will turn hostile. The kids will lead you into the desert to witness the secret transaction (see quest 6) if you have CH 7, have the Empathy perk, make a Speech check, or give them a handgun and get a good reaction (in fact, if you happen to carry a gun you'll have to give it to them before they'll bring you along). You get 1500 xp if you stay hidden until the transaction is completed. To leave the screen without being seen, walk straight down. If you gave the kids a gun (or even planted it on one of them), when you return to the East Side the four running kids will all have got themselves shot! You can retrieve your gun though.
If you're a Slaver, or if you're a Made Man of another family, you can't talk to the kids to begin with. If you're wearing any kind of Power Armor, you have to remove it before they'll talk to you. Incidentally, there's lots of different floating dialogue from townspeople in New Reno if you're wearing Power Armor.
If you already did quest 6 you won't get the 1500 xp, but if you're up to it you can get more kill xp than that out of this encounter. You should only do battle if you already finished your business with the Salvatores, though, because they'll know somehow and turn hostile.
To assassinate Boss Wright, give the kid a gun and tell him to wave it in his father's face and pull the trigger. You don't get any xp for this, though. You can still get the desert transaction by talking to the kids again. You can prevent the kids from shooting themselves or Orville if you steal the gun back before leaving the map.
Use Traps on Orville's safe, and even if it tells you that you were successful, don't stop until you get the message that you gained 100 xp (free Dynamite!). You can then pick it and take the stuff inside. If you leave the map and return, the safe will be re-trapped and locked (more free Dynamite!). In Orville's room, Ethyl's room, and the one on the bottom left, you can take plenty of stuff from the shelves without anyone complaining.
IN<4: You can follow the kids to the secret transaction by choosing one of the "incest" lines and then the first option each time after that. If you talk to Mrs Wright she gives you a Flower, a Nuka-Cola and $3. Finally rich!
Find a way into the Sierra Army Base
See the SAD section for how to accomplish this. Once you've actually been inside, return to Orville and you'll be a Made Man (1000 xp). In addition to the normal perks this means you can go to the station and get some Booze and Beer from the shelves without anyone making a fuss.
Recover your stolen car
The first time you leave your car behind on Virgin Street, it will be gone when you return (the car, not the street). Don't worry, it's not actually a car bug (as many people have believed, with some justification). If you walk over to where the car was standing you'll get the option to follow the tracks. If you ask Jules about it he'll be very evasive, but if you threaten him he'll show you where the car was taken. The best option is to talk to Cody, the boy outside the Cat's Paw, and ask him to lead you to the car, which earns you 500 xp. You can also ask him who stole it (he'll indicate Jules was involved), but then you have to tell Jules you'll kill him if anything happens to Cody, before you leave this map, or else, well, something will happen to Cody. If by any chance you let something happen to Cody you can confront Jules about it, in which case he makes a run for it.
If you approach Cody in any kind of Power Armor, or if you offer him drugs or food, or if you're a Slaver or Childkiller, or if you have Lenny or Marcus in your party, or if your karma is -101 or lower, or if you have IN<4 and tell him anything other than that your car has been stolen, he'll run away. If you wait for a minute without leaving the map he'll calm down so you can try again, or else he'll never talk to you again.
Anyway. Once you're at the chop shop, go into the garage and seek out T-Ray. There are a few ways to get your car back:
- If you're a Made Man of the Bishops you can tell him Bishop sent you for the car. He'll want money, and you can then offer him $1500, $900 or nothing; as long as you throw Bishop's name around he'll be too scared to object. When he mentions batteries the message window will say "Error" and you get 1002 xp. This is because the script really should have displayed line #1002 in T-Ray's dialogue file and given you 750 xp for getting free batteries (which you don't), but now it tries to print the non-existent line #750 instead...
- Trick T-Ray into thinking you're a Made Man if you're not. This is bugged so that you make it if you fail your Speech check and your CH is 7 or less. You can actually talk to him again and again until you succeed (that is, fail). As regards money and xp this works exactly as above except you gain 750 additional xp.
- Pay T-Ray $1000 for the car ($750 or $500 with good to decent Barter).
- Sleep with him if you're female with CH>6 or Porn Star.
- Try to drive away. The chop shop people will initiate combat after you do this twice. In case the critter who caught you is a cowardly mechanic he'll run away; you can then use the car again and off you go. If it's a thug, however, you'll have to...
- Kill the whole bunch.
You get 750 xp for resolving the situation in any of the first five ways; if you drove off you have to return to get the xp. If you left T-Ray alive you can pay him $500 ($300 with decent Barter) for a general car upgrade: increased trunk space (which is a blessing) and better engine performance. It's important that you get this upgrade right away, because once you drive the car off the map and return you'll lose all dialogue choices due to a scripting glitch (the "drive away" strategy is not really recommended for this reason). You can, of course, blow everyone away after the deal is complete, for the combat xp and the stuff in their lockers.
The Made Man thing is bugged in more ways than one (in fact, T-Ray is certainly the most heavily bugged person in this game). Firstly, $2700 is taken from your inventory as soon as T-Ray mentions payment (assuming you let him), and if you then offer $1500 or $900 you'll lose that sum in addition to the $2700. It all ends up in T-Ray's inventory, though, so it may not be a problem. If you exit dialogue directly when you lose the $2700 the car will be yours, but then you don't get the xp for tricking T-Ray or for the batteries.
If you have already won the game when you buy your car back, talk to T-Ray again after getting the trunk upgrade and he'll offer you free "grav-plates" which will make the car zoom around the map and reduce fuel consumption to next to nothing. Because of T-Ray's dialogue bug you can't leave the map with the car until you've finished the game if you want the grav-plates, or he'll just stare at you stupidly when you come to visit him. (Contrary to popular lore, however, you can have it stolen before then, and even buy it back - as long as you leave it in the chop shop!) A carless game is no fun, so if you're going for the plates it simply means you must never leave your car unattended on Virgin Street. One way to go about this is to talk to Jules when you get to New Reno the first time to get Golgotha on the world map, leave the car there, return to New Reno on foot and walk to 2nd Street. Now return for the car, and for the rest of the game you can park it on any of the other New Reno maps. (A quicker, if not 100% legit way of accomplishing this is to hit 2 through 4 on the New Reno town map instead of making the round trip.) Unless you really want to see the effects of the grav-plates, I'd say a better car during the game is much preferable to an even better car after the game.
T-Ray says you can buy batteries from him (and if you're Made Man of the Bishops you're supposed to get them for free), but he never has any. You can hit the barter button in case you want to trade back whatever cash he got from you for junk. In fact there's a scripting bug here so that he checks your inventory for Small Energy Cell or Micro Fusion Cell, so if you carry any of these he'll say he has some batteries to sell - only he doesn't.
Female characters can also keep on making love to T-Ray for the upgrade and/or batteries. This is heavily bugged, and you won't get either although the message window says you do. Keep on making sweet love and T-Ray will blow up, but this causes my game to black out (I hear the "explosion" sounds but my screen stays black after the fade-out). One time, though, I was able to sleep with him repeatedly without even getting the car back for my troubles, and after a while of this he blew up properly. Tvoinpyer adds on the blackout: "You can save your game at that moment although you cannot see anything. Press F4 and Enter twice. That should save the game. Then exit the game (Ctrl-Q followed by Y), restart Fallout 2 and load the saved game. If all goes well it should load the map with T-Ray blown up." The procedure as described will overwrite the first save slot; quicksaving with F6 also works.
Find out who was responsible for Richard Wright's overdose
Go to Keith Wright and ask for work. He won't let you in if you're a Berserker or Childkiller or have -101 karma or worse, and you must also pass a Speech check (more difficult for Slavers). You'll get in with a recommendation from Chris Wright at the railway station, but he's got the same standards only he's very strict about the Slaver thing. In any case, talk to Orville Wright. If you maintain Richard may have taken Jet on his own accord, Orville will attack, so don't (Chris is also a bit touchy concerning this matter). Keith Wright will name the usual suspects: Jules, Jimmy J, Little Jesus and Renesco; with IN 7 you can also ask him to tell you which room was Richard's. Go there and search the bookcase inside the door... you'll find a Jet canister behind it, and 500 xp. If you walk around talking to the dealers they all point the finger at each other. But if you show the Empty Jet Canister to Jagged Jimmy J, he can tell you it was poisoned (500 xp), and if you mention this to Renesco, you find out the Salvatores ordered a poisoned canister from him (1000 xp). Another way of going about this is to dig up Richard's grave in Golgotha (which Renesco will put on the map if you ask him about Richard) and examine it to find he was poisoned and then mentioning this to Renesco, for the same total amount of xp (but you'll be a Grave Digger this way, which you may or may not care about). You can confront the Salvatores with this info, but it just leads to a fight.
Return to Orville. If you opened the grave, don't tell him. Now, you can finger any of the four dealers involved for 500 xp, $250, 2 Booze and 20 Shotgun Shells as long as you've talked to them or heard anyone else name them as suspects. If the person in question is dead already, then Orville will attack. Otherwise the accused person will disappear, and that's that. However, if you tell Orville about the involvement of the Salvatores you get $350, 2 Booze and 40 Shotgun Shells, and if you manage to deduce their motive (IN 7 needed, plus you must know about all the families) you also get 2000 xp. It doesn't matter if Salvatore is dead or not.
You can get both the 500 xp for "fingering a suspect" and the 2000 xp for cracking the case if you first say Richard was poisoned, then happen to mention Renesco's name, then tell Orville that Renesco wasn't ultimately responsible for the murder and finally figure out the Salvatores' motive. Renesco won't come to any harm this way, either. Note that you can't do this the other way around, i.e. fingering Renesco and then say the Salvatores were behind him.
If you're playing an evil character, one way of getting the Wright quests is to talk to Chris or Keith Wright while you're still not too evil and get permission to talk to Mr Wright. Another, trickier way is to force-feed Keith some alcohol to lower his Perception, enter Sneak mode, open the door and talk to Mr Wright. Take his first quest, finger a suspect you don't like (or go and finish the quest properly if you want), then take the second quest to get the SAD on your world map. Note that you must be sneaking all the time while talking to Orville, since he will attack if he sees you after you open the door without permission.
Turning the Wright family hostile will set this quest to failed even if you already finished it or never got it (in which case it appears crossed out in your Pipboy). This has no effect in the game, but may change the ending for this quest as well as (in rare cases) the ending for New Reno.
Track down Pretty Boy Lloyd, recover the stolen money, and make an... example of him
Rule number one: Mason is an arrogant asshole. The temptation to kill him is great, but we need him alive for now. Tell him you have information or want a job to get an audience with Salvatore. You can piss Salvatore off in any number of ways, try not to do that. Before leaving, might as well pick up a Laser Pistol from the footlocker for Eldridge. To find Lloyd you need to go to the basement of the Desperado casino. There are some rats down here, and stuff on the floor... plus one human rat behind a locked door, Mr Lloyd himself. Rule number two: You can't let Lloyd get away alive, or Salvatore will know it and you will be attacked when you return. You can get Lloyd to tell you where the money is buried in Golgotha (which appears on your map), and kill him right away, or get him to come along with you (which is best, requires IN 6). You can intimidate him if you have ST 6, if you're wearing any kind of power or combat armour, if you're a Berserker, or if you have at least one follower. This way you can make him give you his money, and if you let him scamper you can still go and pick up the treasure, but Salvatore won't shower you with flowers.
Though Lloyd's bugs are not as obvious and significant as T-Ray's, there are probably even more of them: he has maybe two dozen minor script errors, inconsistencies and redundancies. For instance, following specific routes through the dialogue in town and/or in Golgotha you may be led to the grave but not be able to enter it, or be able to enter it though you haven't heard of it.
If you came by yourself, walk to the third grave from the right in the top section. (Lloyd's directions don't make any sense and the grave is not marked "Arch Stanton".) Use Traps on it and you get a Plastic Explosive in your inventory. Then use a Shovel (you won't become a Grave Digger) and walk onto the open grave to enter the fallout shelter and collect the $1000. By the way, you can't enter the grave if you come here before talking to Lloyd about it.
If you came with Lloyd, you can tell him to dig, in which case you get the Plastic Explosive, or you can dig yourself, in which case the bomb goes off in your face and Lloyd attacks, or you can check for traps, in which case you may find the Plastic Explosive or set it off (to find it you should first pass a Sneak check or have IN 7 and Traps 51%, then have Traps 51% or pass a Traps check). If nothing went boom, you can choose to let Lloyd go down first (he attacks when you follow), go down first yourself (he attacks when you come back up, why didn't he make a run for it, the stupid git?), or tell him to go down, then throw the landmine in after him, which is fun ("All in a day's work"), but costs you a Plastic Explosive. If you let him go down and then wait for him to come back up he'll escape somehow, so don't do that.
If you kill Lloyd you lose 10 karma, no matter if he attacked you first. However, if any of your party members deals the final blow, you don't lose any karma. Even more strangely, dropping the landmine on Lloyd only costs you 5 karma.
If you have Sneak 76% or Sneak tagged, you can tell Lloyd he can take off on his own, then follow him from New Reno to Golgotha. If you pass either a Sneak check or an Outdoorsman check, you'll find Lloyd having retrieved the cash (but not the Plastic Explosives) and making his way down across the map; he'll enter combat immediately when he spots you. If you fail both skill checks, you'll only find an empty fallout shelter and no Lloyd.
Returning to Mr Salvatore there are a million things you can say to piss him or Mason off, as usual. If you killed Lloyd and give the correct amount to Salvatore you get 500 xp, $500, and the next quest (if Renesco's dead he doesn't have any more work for you).
If you talk to Lloyd before getting this quest the dialogue is a bit different (you can tell him to give you his money which amounts to $57, but you'll get it later anyway), but you can get the same results and follow him to Golgotha without the IN 6 requirement. Then when you get the quest you can tell Mason you already took care of Lloyd.
When talking to Salvatore there's always a respectful line that you get with CH 6 or IN 8 which will make him respect you more, and a coarse line which will not. If you want to get quest 6 and become a Made Man later on you must pick most of the respectful ones.
Go visit Renesco the Rocketman and collect Mr. Salvatore's tribute of $1000
Make sure you have plenty of room in your inventory. Go to Renesco and ask for the tribute, keep telling him Salvatore sent you. Don't even consider going back to Salvatore for confirmation, Mason will not be impressed. Also don't threaten with violence or Renesco won't talk to you again. When he says he's broke, suggest that he give you a discount in exchange for you paying the tribute (IN 7 needed), and then tell him you want to see his stuff right away (you won't get another chance). You can now get all his stuff for a song. When you return to Salvatore and give him $1000, you get $250 back ($100 if he doesn't like your manners) and 750 xp, so in the end you get several thousand bucks' worth of equipment for $751. Oh, and before you return for the next Salvatore quest, make sure you've heard from Father Tully or Jules about the "lightbringers".
When you enter the barter screen after getting the discount, Renesco's stuff (except the money) may be worth $0 right away. It can also happen that the cost is merely reduced by a factor. In my case that factor was initially 5; however, after I left the barter screen and re-entered by telling him again I wanted to make "purchases", the prices were reduced by a factor of 100 instead (this is because the discount modifier is applied each time you enter that dialogue node). By trading things back and forth, you can quickly and easily get the whole of Renesco's inventory for a mere $1 (including his cash - trade something for it which you can then get back for free).
Unlike the quest to get the Corsican Brothers' money for Mordino or getting Becky's money in the Den, you can actually give Salvatore $1000 without even going to see Renesco. Since money's money it does make some sense.
Help guard a secret transaction taking place in the desert
You will only be offered this job if Salvatore likes you, and if you didn't destroy the Enclave (but you probably didn't yet). If you know about the laser weapons, you get the opportunity to ask for one, which Salvatore will grant unless he barely trusts you enough to give you the quest. When you talk to Mason (he'll give you 24 hours to prepare, and attack if you're late) tell him Salvatore said to give you a lightbringer and then ask for training. You get a Laser Pistol, and your Energy Weapons skill will go up by 5%. Next you're teleported to the desert meeting place. Some more foreshadowing... a fresher vertibird than the one in Klamath, and those guys look like the one on the monitor in the Gecko power plant. Don't move an inch until you're told you can go, or everyone will start shooting at you. Once the transaction is complete you're free to move wherever you want, but there isn't much to do. Leave the screen and return to Salvatore for 1000 xp. If you turn down his offer to become a Made Man, he'll attack. If you accept, you get another 1000 xp, and you can still attack him if you want, so what's to lose? Then go pick up your "armload" of items from Mason. If Mason and Salvatore like you, you get $300, 80 Small Energy Cell and a Metal Armor Mark II. If Salvatore likes you but Mason doesn't, you get $150 and a Metal Armor. Finally if none of them likes you, you only get lousy $50. In either case you also get a Laser Pistol if you didn't get one before the quest.
Winning Mason's approval is easy: just put up with his remarks and don't be snide. Getting Salvatore's respect counter high enough is trickier, since it's not enough simply to follow the dialogue and pick the polite options. The trick is to raise it when you first meet him by saying you have information and using his name, then immediately leave dialogue by saying you're in the wrong room (which amazingly doesn't make him want to see you dead). You only have to do this once if you follow the optimal dialogue path afterwards, but it doesn't hurt to repeat a few times.
You can do this quest and get the 1500 xp from following the Wright kids to see the transaction, if you go with the Wrights first. However, if you get this quest but tell Mason you need more time, then go to the Wright kids and follow them, you'll end up among the Salvatores and not get the 1500 xp. Uh, so don't do that.
Taking out the women in power armour isn't at all impossible (they're armed with Pancor Jackhammers), but then the Salvatores will be hostile when you return to New Reno. If you want to fight them, do this quest first and follow the Wright kids later.
Okan S. Tezcan adds: "When you've completed the secret transaction job Salvatore has given to you, go talk to him with Intelligence 3 or less. When he asks you to join their family, because you're dumb you can't talk to him and the dialogue screen closes. You don't join the family, you gain the job's xp, plus you can repeat this. Every time you talk to him, it happens as if you have done the job again and you get 1000 xp for free."
Lon Giese relates: "Sometimes after becoming a Made Man of the Salvatores, Boss Salvatore stops talking to me or reacting to anything unless I attack him or his people, then he will try to run away. Even if I steal his Oxygen Tank and/or plant the Poison Tank there is absolutely no reaction. The only notable thing he does is to stand and wave his arms occasionally. When I get this bug Boss Mordino will claim Salvatore is still alive if I killed Salvatore in combat." The bug triggers if you click on Salvatore after becoming a Made Man, or after being told he has no use for you; at that point his script freezes, failing to set the proper variable if he's killed and making an assassination impossible (you can test this by shooting him once and then checking your character sheet - if you're still a Made Man, the bug is active). If you save and load the game, though, he should be back to "normal" for as long as you don't click on him again, so all is not lost if you happen to set off the bug.
Find some endorphin blockers to make a cure for Jet
Talk to Myron (see the Stables) and ask him about a cure for Jet addiction. With IN 7 and Science 81% (or IN 9 and Science 76%) you can convince him there might be a cure, and you get this quest, 2000 xp, and a hint that you should go to Vault City next (it appears on your map). (He also mentions "pre-holocaust bases", which is a reference to an unimplemented area.) Go there and talk to Dr Troy for another 2000 xp, and you get 2 Jet Antidotes (this crosses out Vault City quest 3 even if you didn't have it). See the Redding section for info on what to do next.
If you already picked up the antidote from Dr Troy, or if you successfully blackmailed him, you can't ask Myron or Troy about a cure any more. Therefore, get the VC quest to deliver Jet, get Myron and talk to him about Jet, deliver the sample and introduce Myron to the doctor, then immediately talk to Myron about the cure and talk to the doctor about endorphin blockers, and you'll have got all the xp you can from these quests.
Bust up Wright's still beneath the train station
Save before talking to Mrs Wright, for there are lots of dialogue paths that end with her not talking to you any more. Also make sure that you've heard about the Wright family (you don't have to know about the stills) from, say, Jules or Chris Wright at the train station. Ask about her husband and say his alcohol business is making New Reno a worse place to live in; she'll tell you to meet her the next morning at the church. Go to Father Tully's and wait until 6 a.m. When Mrs Wright shows up, offer to wreck the stills and go to the basement where they are. (While you're there, don't miss the ice fridge among the barrels, containing a Cat's Paw Magazine among other things.) Stand in the niche beside any of the first three stills from the right, then use Science or Repair or a Crowbar, Tool or Wrench on the still to destroy them all for 500 xp. You can also use Dynamite, but that will alert the Wrights (you can run out of the building before the Dynamite goes off and they won't turn hostile right away, but probably will later on). Once you return to Mrs Wright, ask for a cash reward and you get $237 and the Louisville Slugger, a one-of-a-kind weapon. This quest doesn't affect your other business with the Wrights in any way.
You can also tell Mrs Wright she should bust the stills herself... and she does. You get the 500 xp right away, and the message box exclaims "*Sigh*". What the heck? You get no other reward this way, though.
Before destroying the stills, you can use a Scorpion Tail on them if you want. What happens? Well, Orville Wright will mention it if you become a Made Man of the Wrights and ask him what's up. Also junkies and addicts across town will fall over dead as time passes... including Father Tully!
If you destroy the stills in between getting the quest and meeting Mrs Wright by the church, you don't get any xp (unless you tell her to destroy the stills herself), though you do get the bat and money.
Assassinate Westin in NCR without making it look like a murder
You're offered this job after you deliver Moore's briefcase. (If you already killed Westin, he gives you the next quest instead.) Bishop will offer $500, but you can make him give you $750 (Barter) or $1000 (Barter or IN 8) instead. Due to a bug you'll actually get $1000 if you ask for $750, but due to another bug it's easier to make the Barter check for $1000 (go figure). Make sure you've done all quests in NCR and Vault City involving Westin, then head over to NCR (which appears on your map) and Westin's ranch. Use the Poison from Doc Jubilee's house or a dose of Jet, Buffout or Psycho on Westin, and he'll have a heart attack. Killing him by planting explosives works as well (natural death, yeah), but a Sneak-kill does not. Return to Bishop for your monetary reward, 2000 xp and the next quest (unless you killed Westin normally, in which case Bishop will be unhappy).
If you talk to Bishop after delivering the briefcase, without being a Made Man or having an active quest, and he doesn't have any job to give you, Bishop will accuse you of screwing up the Westin assassination (whether you have done so or not) and violence follows. Typically this happens because you killed Westin and/or Carlson out of turn.
Murder Carlson in NCR
Do this (see the NCR section). Upon return you get 2500 xp for whacking Carlson, and 1000 xp for becoming a Made Man of the Bishop family. But if you ever got into the conversation about the raiders or sleeping with his wife/daughter where Bishop forced you into working for him, he apparently doesn't trust you enough to make you a Made Man, so he attacks instead. Also he attacks if you turn down his offer. If you already killed Carlson, Bishop won't give you this quest.
If you didn't also perform quest 9 for Bishop you won't get to be a Made Man if you ask for more work after this, but you will if you pick the "pleasure doing business" line. What's more, due to a bug you get no money if you settle for the $500 that Bishop offers you. With IN 8, however, you can ask for $1000 and get it too.
Deliver ten Cat's Paw magazines to Miss Kitty
Go to the Cat's Paw carrying a magazine and ask Miss Kitty what it is, and she'll ask for ten of them. Return once you have that many. She'll offer $500... you can ask for $750, but don't do that! Instead choose the dialogue line about the stickiness of issue five. You'll get a duplicate issue which raises Energy Weapons by 10% when "consumed"! In any case you get 1000 xp for delivering the magazines. If you're having problems finding 10 Cat's Paw Magazines, here's a list of places to look:
- In an outhouse in Klamath.
- On a girl in the bathhouse (steal).
- In the bookcase in the Duntons' locked room.
- The Duntons have one in their shop inventory each time they restock.
- Flick in the Den has a 50% chance of getting one when he restocks.
- In a bookshelf in Cassidy's bar.
- Male characters can get one from Phyllis.
- In a footlocker on level 2 of the Vault City vault.
- On a ghoul at The Harp (steal).
- On two of the ghouls in the Gecko reactor (steal).
- One in the raiders' safe and one in a footlocker on the same map.
- In a pot on the first Broken Hills map (steal back from Typhon after giving it to him).
- In a bookcase in Myron's room at the Stables.
- In an ice chest in the Wrights' basement.
- In Bishop's safe.
- In a desk on level 2 of the SAD.
- In a desk on level 2 of Vault 15.
- In a locker in the Navarro hangar.
Deliver a laser pistol to Eldridge
After you've heard about the lightbringers from Jules or Father Tully, you can ask Eldridge about them and offer to bring him one. For this he'll pay you $1500, and you get 500 xp. Nothing more to it.
Deliver Big Jesus's package to Ramirez at the Stables
Go to Big Jesus on the first floor of the Desperado and ask for work. If you didn't get the introduction from Little Jesus you first have to pass a Speech check, but you can try this any number of times as long as you don't start pleading. Next he'll accept you if you're male and have ST 6, or if you're wearing any kind of combat or power armour; if not, you have to pass another Speech check (which is easier if you have CH 6). Anyway, when you accept the quest you're teleported to the Stables, where you should enter through the nearest door. Give the box to Ramirez for 500 xp. While you're here, might as well look around a little. Mordino will give you $100 and the next quest when you return to him. Once you've got the job it doesn't matter if you pick the "Senor" lines or not.
I have experienced a car bug when taking this quest, as described in the Addenda section. It ordinarily shouldn't happen; if the car is on Virgin Street when you start the journey it should be stolen if it wasn't before, otherwise it should remain there. Save before taking the quest if you want to be safe.
Collect tribute from the Corsican Brothers
Go to the Corsican Brother at the Golden Globes. He'll give you $250 right away, and you get a chance to audition for a movie (same as usual). Return with the cash to Mordino and you get to keep $125 plus you get 500 xp and the next quest.
Assassinate Boss Salvatore for Big Jesus Mordino
You get 750 xp and $500 when you return after killing Salvatore (1000 xp if you managed a proper assassination). With a CH of 6 or more you also get a Leather Armor Mark II and a "Grease Gun". If you get the armour and either thank him properly or have CH 9, Mordino will ask you to become a Made Man of the Mordinos. Accept and you get 1000 xp, decline and you get assaulted. If you already killed Salvatore you don't get the quest.
Obviously you can have great fun digging up those graves. If you only want to loot the profitable graves without taking the karma plunge from digging up every single one, you'll have to decide for yourself which those are. Save, dig, reload and redig selectively. If you dig them all up you find:
- 2 Flower
- 3 Knife
- 1 Mirrored Shades
- 90 Morningstar Mine Scrip
- 1 Leather Jacket
- 2 10mm SMG
- 1 Switchblade
- 1 Leather Armor
- 1 Doctor's Bag
- 1 Empty Hypodermic
- 1 Shovel
- 1 Crowbar
- 1 Rope
- 2 Rot Gut
- 1 Shotgun
- 20 12 ga. Shotgun Shells
- 1 Gold Tooth
- 1 Pack of Marked Cards
- 1 Loaded Dice
- 2 Gamma Gulp Beer
- 1 Roentgen Rum
- 1 Spear
- 1 Healing Powder
- 1 Metal Armor
- 1 Spiked Knuckles
If you talked to Myron about the Mordino stash, go to the third grave from the top in the southern sector. This previously empty grave now contains:
- 1 Buffout
- 3 Jet
- 1 Antidote
- 40 .44 Magnum JHP
- 1 .44 Magnum Revolver
- 1 Gold Nugget
Note that you will be a Grave Digger if you recover this stash. Myron is supposed to point out the grave for you, but this will only happen the very first time you visit the map, and it will still not be entirely clear which one he's referring to.
Dig up the grave on the top left of the bottom section, and you'll unearth a ghoul who walks away muttering. If Lenny is with you it turns out the ghoul is his dad, but nothing else happens, and if you kill Coffin Willie then Lenny doesn't react. Doing this does not make you a Grave Digger.
Over in the right section there is a solitary cross marked "Trash" which brings up the hand icon when you place the mouse pointer over it. If you got the clue from the Magic 8-Ball, manipulate it to gain $374. You are now officially rich. Note: due to a bug you must also have got the clue for the toilet grenades, but that shouldn't be any problem.
In spite of how Jules and JJJ ramble on about security, this place is a Swiss cheese; you can run around wildly opening doors and chatting to the guards, as long as you don't try to loot containers in front of them. None of the tables of stuff has anything on it. If you have Science 76% you can talk to Marjorie Reed about Jet and Redding and get a Stables ID Badge for 500 xp. Male characters can charm her with the same results if they have CH 6 and one of the following: Smooth Talker, CH 7 or Speech 66%. You can also steal the badge off her. You can't talk to her with Myron in your party, but just drop him off if you need to.
Here's an almost completely pointless and absurdly obscure way of going to the Stables. You need IN 7, CH 6 and Science 76% and must be female to do it, and you must not have recruited Myron yet. First you must talk to Marjorie Reed about her research until she mentions that Myron receives a lot of prostitute visitors. Then return to New Reno and talk to Jagged Jimmy J about Myron until he tells you how these prostitutes are selected (Jules has a similar set of dialogue, but doesn't provide the crucial info). This allows you to go to Miss Kitty and ask her if you can volunteer to go see Myron. You are then deposited outside the Stables compound with no further instructions. Only thing is, since you had to talk to Reed for this to happen, you have obviously already been there, so the only thing you get for your troubles is 500 xp.
In the cattle pen, look for a brahmin with a different description that goes about grunting. Use Doctor on it for a reward of 100 xp and 50 Micro Fusion Cell. If you fail your skill check three times, the cow will attack; in this case you don't get the cells, even if you run away and return later or if you kill the cow and wait for the corpse to dissolve. Amazing fact: you can make the brahmin poo go away by using a Shovel on it.
Go down through one of the two manholes. To get past the door to Myron's room you can either flash an ID Badge, tell them you have an appointment if you're female (need CH 6 or being a Porn Star), or let one of your NPCs walk through the door so that it opens and just step through without talking to the guards. Talk to Myron about Jet and stuff, and get him to join you for 750 xp (you can get through this by just pressing 1 repeatedly if you've done it before), although you might want to dump him fairly immediately. You should be sure to get New Reno quest 7 from him eventually. If you don't plan on picking him up you can still make him give you all his stuff if you killed the guards.
The script which makes Myron react if you search his tables is still active after you recruit him, but all that happens is that he'll enter combat mode and run away for one round (though he may also choose to use up Jet if he's still carrying it). On an amusing note, you can kill Myron in front of the guards once you recruit him and they won't bat an eyelid.
IN<4: You can't get Myron to join you, but you can make him give you everything in his inventory. If you're a woman with CH 6 or more, this dialogue is different. If you first introduce yourself then try to leave conversation, Myron will offer a sleeping drug. If you have EN 7 or Chem Resistant but not Chem Reliant, you'll withstand the effects and can then get all of Myron's stuff if you pick the lines 1, 2 and 2. If you succumb to the drug Myron will have his way with you (All: Eww!) and try to use a Booze on you.
Myron will spawn some items the first time you either recruit him, attack him or tell him to give you all his stuff: 3 Super Stimpaks, 3 Stimpaks, 2 Jet and 1 Red Condom. This doesn't make much of a practical difference except if you were going to sneak in and steal his things without talking to him, or blow him up.
Tom Hibbs: "There is a bug where Myron's guards become obscenely interested in being near you. Before Myron is invited to join your party, if he yells for the guards they run in and stand very close to you, running after you when you move. They won't attack you, but it is impossible to lock them inside another room which can become extremely annoying. This can lead to them cornering you in tight areas since you can't push them away." The trigger for this is that you appear sneaking or armed before Myron when he's schedulded to make a float.
Once you've killed the Mordinos in town, you can return here and clean out the place. You can't free the slaves though, in fact some of them will fight alongside the guards. If you turn the guards hostile the Mordinos in town will turn hostile and vice versa, but you can fight the two outside Myron's room without anyone noticing.
Sierra Army Depot
"Yeah, but don't bother it. I think it wants to destroy the human race."”— Wright kid and The Chosen One
There's no way to get the SAD on your world map except getting the quest from Wright to break into it. As you arrive here the place is a mess, with bodies lying in heaps. A good idea is to leave your party members by the exit grid, grab a Scoped Hunting Rifle or the like and pick the turrets off from outside their range. In addition to the stuff on the bodies you should find:
- 1 Plasma Grenade
- 3 Frag Grenade
- 2 Desert Eagle .44
- 2 10mm SMG
- 2 10mm Pistol
- 1 Assault Rifle
- 24 10mm AP
- 1 Sniper Rifle
To the northwest there's a bunker with three traps outside, a trap on the door, and a trap on one of the ammo crates inside (the locked one). Get the Howitzer Shell and use it on the howitzer in the building to the right (which has three mines in front of the door, one in the gap by the truck, and one near the barrels and tyres). Then use the howitzer to blow a hole in the entrance to the depot. If for some twisted reason you put an NPC by the doors they'll take damage.
If you enter the fenced-in area in the northeast corner you'll take electrical damage. Down the manhole is a small room where you can throw a switch to put the base on backup power, which has the effect of turning the yellow impassable forcefields in the base into red ones which damage you as you pass (but which also hurt the robots). This is a bad idea, since you can use Repair on the yellow ones to pass them painlessly. Also it makes it darker inside, which is boring.
Once you're on the inside you can report back to Orville Wright. Pick up the Password Paper from the desk, and the Evacuation Holodisk if you like. (All holodisks in this place are for flavour only.) The yellow forcefield can be disabled with Repair, as can all the rest. If you access the computer after reading the note, you can type in the correct password to deactivate all forcefields on the level. If you know a little Science, instead enter an incorrect password and then hack the computer for 200 xp. If you use Lockpick, Science or Repair on the actual forcefield you'll be zapped for some damage.
In the depot, dropping a Dynamite next to a forcefield emitter will cause it to turn into a red forcefield or destroy it entirely depending on whether you pass a Traps check, but it also sets off the alarm. If you damage an emitter but don't knock out the field, setting another charge right away may cause the game to crash.
Search the rooms to the right for a Yellow Memory Module, a Dixon's Eye and a Bio Med Gel, and don't miss the wall lockers. Pick up the Combat Armor and stuff from the lockers in the barracks. Using the punching bags in the gym will raise your Unarmed by 5% each (4% if tagged). Keep in mind that you may want to put this off until you've received training in San Francisco.
The elevator on the right will open if you use Dixon's Eye on the retinal scanner, and will then take you to level 2 or 3. Or you could just pick the door to the elevator on the left, which will take you to all four levels of the depot. There is a second computer on this level which will give you 250 xp for "hacking" into it if you choose the diagnostic option then choose not to run the test. If the alarm is active the dialogue is a little different and you can then get the xp by either hacking the terminal (IN 8, decent Science) or pressing help and again not running the diagnostic test (PE 7). Turning on the alarm doesn't release the bots, and actually running the diagnostic test locks up the terminal. You can set off the alarm properly by entering two incorrect passwords in the first computer. A bunch of robots will appear from behind sliding panels and attack. From each of the riflebots you can get a Robot Motivator, and you really want one of those for later.
You can also set off the alarm on any level by failing to disable or enable a specific forcefield more than two times, or by using your own eye on the retinal scanners. Each level has its own separate alarm state. A few computer terminals will lock up if the alarm is triggered (so you'd better do anything related to them before you start whacking things), but not crucial ones like the brain retrieval console. Level 4 is special in the way that the bots don't turn hostile, but will fight back if attacked. General robot and turret fighting tip: disabling their sensors with aimed shots takes all the fight out of them.
If you release the robots on level 1 then turn off the alarm, they may turn invisible again depending on where they are (the "cloaked" area is a rectangle covering the hidden compartments and the space in between, but not the side corridors). If you disabled the alarm using the terminal they'll keep making floats even if they're not visible.
The reason why the alarm terminal doesn't release the bots is actually that it's bugged and sets the wrong variable, so that instead you'll end up with what looks like a permanent RadAway addiction on your character sheet. Though this may be mostly annoying (your Radiation Resistance is unaffected), it does seem to protect you from "real" RadAway addiction.
It's possible to get permanently stuck here, as told by David Lönn: "The door to the elevator on level one is open because I opened it earlier but didn't use it, so I don't need the eye, which now has been dropped somewhere on the floor. I enter, and take the elevator to level three. The door shuts behind me, and I'm effectively stuck. I haven't got Dixon's or Clifton's Eye, so I can't access either of the elevators. I haven't got any explosives on me. And, it appears that my puny Repair skill isn't able to bring down the forcefields, no matter how many times I try." A Repair skill of 41% is necessary to have any chance of disabling the forcefields (a Tool will help, but not a Super Tool Kit). Another way to get stuck is to let Vic get you inside the forcefields and wait until they turn back on. Then shoot Vic.
On level 2 you find a computer next to the left elevator where you can turn off the automated repair system for 200 xp (PE 7 and LK 8 will provide alternatives to a Science check). A critical failure will disable the terminal. Go to the room to the south (Lockpick 100% recommended for the door) and loot all the ammo crates for some serious armour and weaponry, such as a Plasma Rifle and 2 Combat Armors. Don't miss the row of small crates behind the wall.
The bots in this room, with one exception, will not fight back if attacked, nor does this alert the other bots on the level. In all they're worth 8250 xp, which isn't so bad when you first get here. The exception is the rocketbot closest to the yellow forcefield. Though your NPCs won't fire on the active bot, they may hit it while trying to burst-fire at something behind it, so you'd better save first. Or put this off until later when you're cleaning out the base for fun and experience.
If you want some xp, you can go around using Repair or a Tool on each of the dormant bots. You'll gain either 200 xp (if you succeed and get the message "You seem to have disabled the robot") or 75 xp (if you fail and get the message "You seem to have repaired the robot completely", which will heal the bot if it was damaged). This goes for all bots in the depot except the passive ones in the repair bay. Sometimes, it seems, this can also produce freak messages from other parts of the game. The "disabled" bots will still fight you if it comes to that, though they don't mill about or initiate combat themselves.
Destroyed rocketbots aren't lootable, but you can still search them if there's another, lootable body on the same hex (like a dead riflebot or an unconscious NPC); you can then access the rocketbot by clicking the arrows in the loot interface. Some of them will have Miniguns that you can pick up no matter how the robot was killed. Others will be armed with Robo Rocket Launchers and that's a little trickier; see the Toxic Caves section for how to get hold of these. The passive bots don't have anything.
The sentrybots won't attack you unless you set off the alarm or attack them. Now in the passages to either side of the laser tripwire there's a row of traps, but the tripwire itself doesn't do anything. Near the top of the level you'll find a "hidden" searchable crate which contains rockets and grenades. In the room on the middle right you find a Cookie, a rare item (of the kind which you never end up using). The alarm computer in the middle of the level works mostly like the corresponding one on level 1. If you activate the alarm you can turn it off twice (using the "hack" and "attempt to turn off" options) and gain 500 xp and 550 xp respectively. Hacking requires IN 8 and you should have Science 80-90% before attempting this, and save first (with Science 106% you'll automatically succeed, though). With PE 7 you can deactivate the alarm by running the self-diagnostic program, but it gives no experience.
The computer at the bottom right is a bit trickier as it seems to be slightly bugged. Reading the mail does nothing except that if you read the "penpal greetings", the computer is infected with a virus and becomes inoperational. You can hack the forcefields, in which case you get 200 xp and the shock plates turn off, but the forcefields stay in place (bugged, as I said). Hacking the shock plates does exactly the same thing (but you cannot get the xp twice; also if you disable the shock plates then try again and fail, they turn back on). Science 90% will let you pass the skill checks; failing critically will disable the terminal. You can guess the password to the forcefields, in which case they turn off (no xp). Lastly you can try to guess the password for the shock plates, which apparently cannot be done even with LK 10.
Onwards to level 3. To access the new elevator you have to use Clifton's Eye instead (which also gives clearance for the other elevator), and this is located in the wall locker in the far northeast room. When you access the alarm computer on this level it doesn't behave like the other ones due to an override. Don't tell it you're Dixon, or the robots will turn hostile on levels 1-3 and the four alarm computers plus the password computer on level 1 will zap you for some damage if you try to use them again. If you tell it your name or that you're a friend, this will turn off the alarm for this level.
In the left branch of the T-junction there are two traps to watch out for. Talk to Skynet the artificial intelligence by accessing the terminal by the large mainframe. It will ask you to help it "escape" from the depot. You can ask it to reset the security systems, which means that any hostile robots in the depot turn dormant again but not much more. If you say "It's nice to want" then the same thing will happen as when you tell it you're Dixon (but if you have Speech 76% you can apologize and prevent this).
If you anger Skynet, then talk to it again and agree to help, it'll turn the alarm off for level 3 but at the same time turn it on for levels 1-2, to encourage you to stay and finish the job. Angering Skynet is the only way to release the four rocketbots inside the wall on level 3, and like the robots on level 1, they can turn magically invisible when called off. The robots inside the wall on level 4 are never released; there aren't even any secret door scripts in place. In the unpatched version the conditions for opening the sliding panels on level 3 corresponded to the general alarm state of the depot, but they were then made floor-specific leading to the state of things as described above.
On the top left is your science fair project, but it's unfinished. To get the robot functioning you must do three things:
- Use a Robot Motivator on it. The easiest way to get one of these is on level 1, but every riflebot in the depot has one.
- Use a Bio Med Gel on it. There's one right there on the floor, I guess the designers felt sorry for those who might have failed to hold on to the one found on level 1.
- Use a Brain on it. You get these on level 4. The quality of your new robot will depend on the quality of the brain used. You get 500 xp for installing the brain no matter which one it is.
If you activate the robot before it is complete, it simply explodes. Now, if you used the Abnormal Brain or the Chimpanzee Brain, you get a stupid robot who can only carry stuff and nothing else. The chimpanzee is actually smarter because you can tell it to wait somewhere, whereas you have to kill the abnormal bot if you want it out of your party. The Human Brain will create a mediocre sniper (which cannot level up), but to get the real Skynet with auto repair systems you need the Cybernetic Brain. See the NPC section for more details on the Brain Bot.
If you manage to piss off Skynet (by telling it you're Dixon or being sarcastic) and then use the Cybernetic Brain on the robot, it won't thank you. Once you exit the depot it will kill one of your other NPCs instantly (but not Marcus, Goris or any dog), then attack. If you assemble the bot before talking to Skynet at all then it will be friendly, even if you had triggered the alarm on level 3. Evil Skynet will join you over the party limit. Sebastian Cassten reports that you can get evil Skynet in your party permanently: enter combat mode directly after leaving the depot and run back inside (or towards the red exit grid). If you leave the map without Skynet going hostile it'll hang around for good, forever talking about "proceeding to the surface". It will level up as usual and you can access its combat control screen (allowing you to arm and disarm it by changing its weapon preferences), but not tell it to stay put or repair itself.
On level 4, the alarm computer is offline. Not much to do here except extract organs and get things from storage. To extract a brain (as the Experiment Holodisk will tell you, the device extracts only brains no matter what organ you select), place a party member in the room with the extractor (he or she must still be in your party), and tell the computer to get extractin'. Your NPC will get hit for lots of damage and die, and a Human Brain shows up. You get 500 xp for attempting your first brain extraction, even if there's no one in the extraction chamber.
North of there is the storage area. Use the computer, choose "cadavers" and Private Dobbs. Talk to him and look at him go. You can pick up a LE Red Ryder BB Gun from his remains, but you don't get this if you kill him before he melts. Odd. If he doesn't run, you need to shut down the forcefield.
You can also get a brain from here, which is probably a better idea than using the organ extractor unless you actually want someone killed. Depending on your Science skill you'll end up with from zero to four brains from which you get to choose one. With Science 90% you can get the Human Brain about 50% of the time. To get the Cybernetic Brain you need Science 121%, but there's still a small risk of failure, so save first. Once you get a brain the storage retrieval bot blows up, which means you should get Dobbs first.
You can't get any organ except for brains. If you retrieve a virus, any virus, the vial will break and you have one minute to leave the depot before dying (the countdown says four, but it's bugged). Even if you get out you'll die immediately if you ever come back in.
New California Republic
"You can't take the president's job!"
Upon arrival in the NCR bazaar - the area outside the city walls - you find Doofus, the car hop. You can pay him $5 to watch your car, but it's a waste of money. From the second time you enter this map, if you find Doofus raving about cars, you can get him to mention the name of Merk, or if you have the Speaker perk you can tell him to give you his stuff, which amounts to about $30 and 3 Fruits.
Buster who runs the store in the bazaar will give you one warning and then attack if you come into his store at night, and unlike most other shops he only opens at 8.01. His three shelves all have different contents. This is one of two shops in the game that carry valuable 2mm EC ammo, and Buster also sells Micro Fusion Cell, good Needler ammo and 4.7mm Caseless. If you have surplus weaponry you might want to trade it in for a Pancor Jackhammer, the best shotgun in the game, or a Ripper, Power Fist or Avenger Minigun. He'll also turn a Hunting Rifle into a scoped one for $500. That's exactly the difference in value between the two weapons, which leaves you with a profit of 10 .223 FMJ. Buster's shelves restock separately in 2-4 days except the one on the right which restocks in 1-4 days.
Buster's guards carry Bozars which you can steal. I don't 'cause it's silly, plus at this point in the game I wouldn't meet the ST requirement. If you really want one you should be able to take a hike to the Toxic Caves. Speaking of stealing, with a high skill you can use Steal on the shelves and take any amount of stuff from them right in front of Buster. I would have to say this is even sillier.
As found by Jonathan Cook, if you press 0 when talking to Buster, he'll swap his own inventory with that of the current shelf (which is randomly selected if you just talk to him). This will allow you to steal some stuff directly from him if you are so inclined.
In the department of useless stuff we have the fact that you can go behind Buster's store, go left along the very top of the map until you hit the edge, then work your way down by scrolling and clicking on ahead. You can get as far as south of the saloon, but have to return the same way.
On the 11th of every odd month, a guy named Stanwell will offer you a job guarding a brahmin caravan to Redding, which pays $2000 but takes a lot of time. Note that this has nothing to do with Duppo's brahmin drive quest.
The hooded guy on the left of the bazaar map will fit a blower to your car for $1000 if you give him six hours to do it. You really should. You can barter some stuff to him to get your money back, and pay him $5 for worthless rumours. You don't actually need to spend six hours in NCR for him to finish the job, but after six hours have passed you must spend about a minute on this map (resting 10 minutes will do it) before he's done.
You can buy Booze from Mira in the Rawhide Saloon, and ask her for information. The bar patrons may have 200 Shotgun Shells each for you to steal if you like (every time you enter the map there's a chance they'll "restock"). Lenny is just obnoxious.
Merk who hangs out in the back room of the bar between 16.01 and 08.00 is the man with the plan around here. Sometimes he'll be flanked by two guards, sometimes not; presumably they're always supposed to be there since Merk may refer to them even if they're not present. If you want information, you'll have to pay $50 before you even get to ask anything. If you ask about the G.E.C.K. he doesn't know anything, and if you ask him about Vault 13 he tries to sell you a Vault 13 Holodisk for $1000. Buying this disk puts Vault 13 on your map - only once you get there it's just a cave with some construction signs, and when you leave it reads "Fake Vault 13" on your world map. Complaining with Merk helps little, but you can steal the money back. Fun but useless. Instead ask Merk for work. Now you have to prove yourself to him:
- One option is to fight Lenny the super mutant alone in a secret basement, limited to these weapons: Knife, Club, Sledgehammer, Spear, Rock, Crowbar, Brass Knuckles, Super Sledge, Ripper, Cattle Prod, Spiked Knuckles, Power Fist, Combat Knife, Sharpened Spear. To get this you must have "talked" to Lenny at least once. To make it a lot easier you could steal Lenny's Stimpaks and Power Fist before the fight. Mira gives you a Booze if you talk to her afterwards.
- If you have Myron in your party, tell Merk you know someone who can make Jet. Merk then offers to take Myron off your hands for $1000. (If you choose the "can't do anything illegal" line, Merk won't like you any more.) Due to a bug, Myron still stays in your party.
- Tell Merk you're a "badass mofo" if you're a Childkiller or Berserker.
- Take quest 7. If you already killed the Hubologist, Merk will act as if you did it for him.
If you have a Bag o' stuff, you must drop it before going to fight Lenny. This is because the Bag is one of the items taken from you - and when you get it back, it's empty! Also guns will be loaded when returned, and if you had separate heaps of the same weapon (with different number of bullets in them, or in your active item slots) you will find yourself with a greater number of guns than you started out with. This is because the script counts all remaining objects when removing each stack; for instance, if you had eight Desert Eagles of which one was in an item slot you'd end up with fifteen after the fight, the script seeing eight before removing the first, then counting the remaining seven. Imagine that... a bug.
Some NPCs won't be hidden by the game when you enter the ring, and will fight Lenny with you: Laddie, Dogmeat, Goris, the pariah dog, K-9 or any inferior Brain Bot. If they die, stuff left on their corpses when you leave the basement is lost.
Don't save the game during your fight with Lenny, since if you have to reload you will be stuck in the ring after you kill him. The same kind of bug apparently plagued the ring fights in New Reno and San Francisco in the unpatched version. Although the readme says they're fixed I would still advise against saving during any ring fight.
Saving and/or loading the game while Merk is walking somewhere may cause him to stop and go silent, or teleport him to his destination, depending on the time and location. Leaving the map and returning or resting for a few hours will get him unstuck if necessary.
Should you annoy Merk in any way, you need CH 7 to talk to him about work again. Once Merk thinks more highly of you, he'll give you quest 1.
There's an infinite money bug here if you like to exploit those (and didn't get enough money from the refinery bug in Broken Hills). Unless you've killed the Hubologist, you can ask Merk for more work after completing quest 1, and then fight Lenny (if you didn't already), or sell Myron for yet another $1000, and yet another $1000, and so on, until you either agree to kill the Hubologist or kill her anyway.
Read the notice board in the bazaar to learn the NCR ground rules. If you come here at night the forcefields will be up, so either use Repair on the emitters (the guard doesn't mind), or talk to the woman in the guardhouse to get in. Don't even touch her lockers, because she will turn hostile even if she doesn't attack right away (though you should be safe as long as you don't walk right up to her, and I think you can loot the bookcase with impunity). The guard outside the entrance will tell you to put away your guns if you have them ready. Tell all your party members to do so - these guards are serious. If you walk around with guns ready in downtown NCR they'll attack almost immediately. Moving out of sight of a cop doesn't help once you've been warned; you must either put the weapon away or leave the map. The gate guard will attack if you hang around with a weapon after being warned, but oddly enough you can kill both guards in the bazaar and the downtown guards won't know you did it.
Make a habit of never going directly to the downtown map when you enter NCR unless you're absolutely sure your NPCs aren't wielding weapons. Once you're there you have very little time to tell them to put their weapons away. On the Council map you start some distance from the nearest cop, so that's OK, and on Westin's ranch they don't care. The three inferior Brain Bots are not checked for weapons, but at the same time the cops are probably laughing at you for being stuck with bad NPCs.
Some say Goris' Claw poses a problem when moving around in NCR; however, the cops' script doesn't check for his presence (it's the same with and without the patch), and testing shows no reaction at all.
Check out both tables at Duppo's (restock in 1-6 days, but there's no money to speak of). You could get a HK P90c for Sulik and a Combat Armor for yourself if you have the spare weaponry to trade in. He also sells Power Fists for you to upgrade in New Reno. Duppo will give you quest 12 if you ask for work. To enter the craps hall, you need at least Gambling 51%, and you must not have accepted quest 12 yet. Ask Duppo for work, then ask if there's another way to make a quick buck. Depending on your Speech you can pay him from $100 to $500 for the password to the door, but it's not much fun in there (Den-style craps table, you can steal $1000 from the croupier). If you have ST 9 you can take a Crowbar to the door instead.
If you're the kind of player who likes to kill shopkeepers for their wares, take care, because after Duppo dies you may not be able to access his tables any more (save first and see). I don't know if this is a common occurrence.
The lockers in the police station hold various weapons and ammo, but if you try to pick them the guards will attack without warning. Sheriff Dumont and Deputy Karl both carry Gauss Rifles, one of the best weapons in the game... so you might want to steal their ammo.
If you approach Dorothy, the woman outside the building northeast of the police station, during daylight hours she'll ask for help dealing with a madman with a bomb. The lunatic in question is Jack, a policeman whose ex-wife Mira is the green-haired woman in the bazaar. If you tell Dorothy it's not your business you can still go in and talk to Jack, but it gives you a little less time to initiate dialogue. There are several things that can happen now:
- Talk Jack out of it, if you have Speech 80% or the Speaker perk. The easiest dialogue path here is 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2 (there's only one node where it doesn't matter what you say). If you succeed, you earn 6000 xp. Talk to Dorothy for another 3000 xp (although it doesn't say on your screen), a Big Book of Science, a Scout Handbook, a First Aid Book and a Deans Electronics.
- Wait for Jack to begin his routine ("Bite me! This is Jack!") and blast him with a couple of Jackhammer bursts at point blank range. Watch out - if you don't kill him, he'll shoot back! Tell Dorothy there was no alternative to killing him, and you get the books and 3000 xp. If you tell her there was a way to avoid bloodshed, you don't get anything except loot from Jack.
- Let him blow up, then repair the bank of monitors on the wall (not the nearby computer) with either Science or Repair. (You can do this even if you don't get the option to tell Dorothy you're good at repairing things, which requires Repair 65%.) You'll get the 3000 xp and books reward, plus the stuff you find in Jack's body parts.
- Let him blow up, then stand back and watch as Dorothy fails to repair the computer. She may die in the resulting explosion, in which case you can pick up a Scout Handbook and Deans Electronics from the ground, but as you can imagine you get no other reward for this. The forcefields to Westin's and Carlson's estates go down... but if you enter the Westin map without permission from the guard you have to kill him (no one else cares), and if you enter Carlson's yard without permission you have to fight an entire mapful of guards, which is bad, so there's no point to any of this.
If Jack lives, you can find him in a cell in the police station, raving. Strangely he's still got weaponry in his inventory. If he dies, however, quest 11 pops up in your Pipboy (see below).
You can repair the computer before anything else happens, and talk to Dorothy for her xp and book reward. If Jack then damages the computer and you fix it again, she'll give you another 3000 xp and two more books.
Funny detail: as Jack blows up, during the death animation you can click on his body parts flying through the air and get more of Jack's spoken lines from them. You can shoot at them, too - but if you don't kill him he may pull himself together and shoot back!
When you come to NCR for the first time you should head right over to the Hubologist in the church downtown. You want two things from her: quest 6 and the zeta scan. Getting the scan will either raise your Luck by 2 or lower it by 1; both permanently, so save first and decide which you want. It also makes you an AHS-1 Hubologist, which has basically no effect in the game except that you can't get the slightly different zeta scan in San Francisco. If you manage to offend her she won't talk to you any more.
If your LK is 1 and gets lowered, it will remain at 1 but if you later get the Gain Luck perk it won't do anything (since technically it will raise the Luck variable from 0 to 1). This goes for the zeta scan in San Francisco as well, of course.
The doctor in the hospital will not sell you Stimpaks, but you can take stuff from his bookcase. If you fail a Steal check Doc Jubilee will notice if you take the Heart Pills and/or Poison hypo and make you put them back. However, if you put the two items in your inventory and then drop them from within the loot interface, he'll be completely oblivious after you pick them up again. Talk to the doctor and ask about Vault 13 to have him mention a certain Saltbeef. He will always charge $50 for healing, heals only HP and cannot heal NPCs.
Leave your party members behind before going into Dusty's Cantina. There's an obnoxious guy in the corner named Hoss who'll provoke you into a fight when you walk up to him. Beat him down to 23 HP, or just put a gun in your active item slot, and he backs down. Afterwards Dusty will give you a free Booze every time you talk to him. If your party members are nearby they'll draw their weapons and may bring the guards down on you, which is why they shouldn't be around. If you're somehow too weak to handle Hoss you can end the fight by running to the nearby exit grid.
The guy outside the Brotherhood building (which is empty) is as useless as the one in the Den unless your level is 9 or below, in which case he'll answer one question.
To get to Westin's ranch to the west you can either talk to Dumont about work and get a recommendation, or have quest 5 from Vault City to deliver a holodisk. In the nearest building inside you find Saltbeef, the old drunk. Giving him a Beer or similar (except for Rot Gut) you can get him to tell you about how he found Vault 13 and how he scribbled a map on the back of a painting, which is now in the possession of doctor Jubilee. Jubilee will sell the painting for a whooping $10,000 (which you can steal back). Once you have the painting, examine it and Vault 13 shows up on your world map. This is not really necessary even for diplomatic characters.
If you want to get out from Westin's estate and Grant met with an accident or something, use Science or Repair on the computer by the gate, or blow it up with Dynamite. Although you can get 50 xp by using Repair on the forcefield emitter, you can't disable it this way. The cops downtown won't react if you slaughtered the people on the ranch.
In the Council Hall area there's just the Congress House and Carlson's estate. See quest 10 for the former. To get into Carlson's place you can do two things. One is to steal the Presidential Pass off Gunther in the Congress House and use it (backpack icon) on the guard at Carlson's gate before talking to him. The other is to talk to Merk and ask about Carlson (will cost you $50), and if he likes you (which requires that you've performed quest 1 for him and didn't piss him off) he'll tell you there may be a job for you as a bodyguard for Carlson. Now go to Carlson's estate and talk to the guard, he'll let you pass. Actually, a third way is to use Repair on the forcefield emitter, but if you enter without permission everyone will start shooting.
Merk (and possibly his two henchmen) will reside in the north wing from 8.00 to 12.00 and in the vestibule from 12.01 to 16.00. If you try to talk to him in his room he'll shoo you out and attack if you stick around, unless you're a Porn Star (of either gender). Carlson's guards don't care if you kill him.
You can tell Carlson's kid to ask Carlson if you can see him; if you mention Bishop's name the kid will say you can come in, but Carlson still won't talk to you. The guards outside the door, on the other hand, always say that Carlson is ready to see you. No matter. To kill Carlson, use 5 Super Stimpaks on him and wait 10 minutes, or else you can open the gate to his garden, go round the house and shoot him through the window (actually just standing in the back of his room works too). Save first, and you may have to make sure the kid is on the other side of the yard (he can be pushed). You could do a Sneak-kill as well. When he's dead, might as well pick up his Pancor Jackhammer.
There's a rumour that the Shiv can be used for this assassination, but it actually can't. I suppose what keeps this rumour around is that there's a certain logic to it: the Shiv is a non-detectable weapon and NCR is the place where you're not allowed to brandish weapons, and what else would you use a Shiv for but an assassination?
NCR is another area with lots of empty containers. If I'm not mistaken the only stuff you can find in the downtown area is: map in Ranger HQ, Dr Henry's papers, some stuff in Dusty's Cantina, and Doc Jubilee's bookcase. Except for Duppo's wares, of course, and the locked containers in the police HQ that you have to kill everyone to get to. The council and ranch areas are completely empty.
Retrive papers from Dr Henry
When you return to Merk after quest 7, you'll get the option to take this job (you only get one chance to accept, unless you choose the "information" line, in which case you get another chance). When you return with the papers (just "retrive" them from the desk at the doctor's place) you get 1000 xp and $1000. If for some inscrutable reason you killed Dr Henry Merk will attack after giving you the reward, and Lenny and Mira will join him in the fight (with CH 9 you can pay him $500 to let you go... yeah, right).
Test mutagenic serum on a super-mutant. Try Broken Hills
Talk to Dr Henry with at least Science 80%, ask about cyber-genetics and he'll ask you to inject a super mutant with a prototype serum. Well, find a super mutant and use it on them, and the mutant melts into a puddle of bones and goo (1000 xp). Seems Dr Henry has to work some on his cyber-genetics skills. Return to Dr Henry ("He's dead, Jim") and you get Cyberdog for an NPC if you want, but you probably don't.
For some reason I think Elmo in Broken Hills makes for a suitable test subject. If you're evil, you can use the serum on Gond in the Ranger hideout. The other Rangers will attack, but the guards don't mind if you kill them. If you use the serum on Lenny in the Rawhide Saloon, the patrons will offer startled floats and Merk will turn hostile. You can also use it on Marcus if he gets too annoying. Cristian Golumbovici reports that using the serum on Frank Horrigan at the end of the game does nothing. Then again he's not your average super mutant (and more specifically, he doesn't have the correct kill type).
If you use the serum on a super mutant in combat mode, you get the 1000 xp and complete the quest but the mutant will take one or a few turns before dying. If you kill it before then and loot the corpse the Mutagenic Serum may still be there. This way you can use the serum on, for instance, Grundel in the Military Base and still get combat xp for killing him. Nimrod adds: "If you get into combat with a supermutant, kill him, and have enough AP left over before combat ends, you can use the serum on the dead body and complete the quest. This can be used in the NCR if you fight Lenny since the hypo doesn't get taken away when you enter the ring, meaning you can complete the quest quickly without leaving town or needing to kill any friendly super mutants. The only quirk is you don't get the toxic meltdown animation. Using it on him in combat got me stuck in the ring. However using it on him after he's dead but before the combat ends doesn't get you stuck." The Masticator warns: "When fighting Lenny the super mutant, if you use the anti-mutant syringe before you damage him in combat he will fall on the floor and he is counted as alive, but unable to move. This traps you in unending combat mode. However, if you damage him at least once before using the syringe he dies normally." Using the serum on him while he's still alive will make Merk hostile, though (assuming you kill Lenny before the serum takes effect, so that you don't get stuck). As far as I know, other mutants don't cause this bad freeze-up.
If you talk to Cyberdog after reporting back, you can ask Dr Henry about cyber-genetics again and get the whole quest all over again. Another bug is that if you turn him down after he describes his work, asking him again will eject you from dialogue. Saving and loading the game fixes this.
Deliver Westin's holodisk to Lynette in Vault City
When you deliver Bishop's Holodisk to Westin he'll ask if you're a Vault City citizen, and if you are he gives you this quest. (If you have the quest to kill Westin you can do it before you leave, since there's no additional reward once you deliver his disk.) For a successful delivery you get 1500 xp, a H&K G11 and 2 Frag Grenades, which Randal in Vault City will supply.
If Lynette thinks highly enough of you when you deliver the holodisk, she'll make you Captain of the Guard, a position which has several advantages as decribed in the Vault City section. To pull this off you need CH 8 and getting Lynette's "respect counter" high enough by adressing her as First Citizen at every turn. The easiest way to do this requires Speech 75% and being a citizen (which you obviously are since Westin gave you his disk), and can be done right before giving the disk to Lynette. Say you have a question for her, ask why they don't live in a vault, and then pick the last option to leave dialogue. Do this 10-15 times (or more if necessary) to raise the respect counter before giving her the disk. If you become Captain, you get 2500 xp for the delivery instead of the usual 1500 xp.
Get the map from the NCR Rangers, for Vortis the slaver
Save before talking to Vortis in the bazaar, because if you're good and annoy him he won't talk to you any more. Also the overseer in metal armour will attack if he sees you between 4 a.m. and 12 a.m., so rest until noon to be safe. Ask for work and agree to get a map. Just walk over to the Rangers' headquarters in downtown NCR (the place with a super mutant and people in Combat Armor) and take the map from a table in the garage, then return to Vortis for $500. Now's a good time to finish quest 5. I think you're still being a good guy, because obviously they won't have an opportunity to actually use the map before you wipe them out...
Free the slaves in the slave pen, for the Rangers
First get quest 4 for the slavers. Then talk to Elise, say you hate slavers, and agree to prove yourself. Go to the slavers, hand them the map and bump them off, which should be easy. Free the slaves by accessing the terminals (use any skill or the hand icon, the check is for both Science and Lockpick). Then return and join the Rangers for 3000 xp and a Ranger Pin.
You can become a Ranger the first time you talk to Elise, by telling her you hate slavers but then that you have to think about what she has said, and leaving dialogue. When you talk to her again and agree to become a Ranger you get the 3000 xp right away and the quest pops up crossed out in your Pipboy.
You actually only have to open one set of cages before returning to Elise, and oddly enough you can kill all the slaves first and still finish the quest. If you free the slaves before taking the quest, you don't get it. Obviously you can't get this quest if you're a Slaver. Elise and Gond won't attack you, but the guy with the Minigun does if you talk to him.
Deliver Hubologist's field report to AHS-9 in San Francisco
You can get this quest in two ways. One is to answer "Yes" when talking to the Hubologist for the first time, and then either choose the "Transcendency" line to trick her into thinking you're higher ranked than she is (Speech check), or choose the "aura" line and then ask how things are going (IN 8 and Speech 65%). She'll then give you this quest. The other way is to get Merk's quest to kill the Hubologist and tell her, but say you won't do it. Although the dialogue ends at this point, you'll get the letter in your inventory and the quest in your Pipboy. Delivering the report yields 500 meagre xp with no additional reward from either AHS-9 or the Hubologist in NCR. Hmpf. At least you can kill the Hubologist for Merk and still finish this quest.
Kill Hubologist in NCR for Merk
Remember to get the zeta scan and delivery quest first! When the Hubologist is dead you earn 2000 xp and can return to Merk for his next task. You get these xp even if you don't talk to Merk first.
Now for a quick lesson in how to kill silently for fun and amusement. Basically there are three ways to do this: 1) Feed your victim a number of Super Stimpaks in quick succession (put one in an active item slot and use them from there for convenience). Each one does 9 damage, so you should have the Awareness perk and divide the HP of your intended victim by that number, rounding up. Wait 10 minutes using the Pipboy, and voilà. 2) Set an explosive to go off and plant it on your victim using Steal, or drop it one or two hexes away while sneaking (darkness helps). If your target doesn't die from the blast you'll enter combat mode which is usually bad, and the same happens if another critter is harmed by the blast. However, you can circumvent these effects by running far away from anyone who's allied with the victim before the bomb goes off. If you can survive the blast you can even keep the explosives in your own inventory and stand next to the victim. A clever variation of this is the concept of "satchel charges", as described by Corpse: "I found a cool way to assassinate people with explosives. If you have the Bag you find in the Modoc mole rat lair, just place the explosives in it, set the timer (while they are in the Bag), then drop the Bag with the explosives next to your victim and run. Kaboom! You could even do that when they are with a large group of goons and no one will notice. This also works if you place the explosives in any container (a locker or a desk etc.) near your victim." If you're setting more than one bomb at once, make sure there's a wall or something behind the victim so they don't get thrown back by the first blast and avoid the others. 3) Enter Sneak mode and dispatch your victim in normal combat, but you only have one round in which to do it. It doesn't matter if you use a "loud" weapon and most often it doesn't matter if there are people around. You'll probably have to hit end turn once before being able to end combat, but if you've played the game up until this point you may already know it often works that way.
If you kill someone using Dynamite, crashes may occur. Just try again and eventually it should work (or if not, well, switch to another method). People have also reported crashes when using the Pipboy to wait for Dynamite to explode, or leaving the current map (which forces explosives to go off), but it's my belief that these things do not in themselves cause the crashes. Also, as noted previously in the guide, it's not a good idea to save while there are explosives waiting to go off.
It is not recommended that you run off a map while waiting for explosives to kill someone. Although they will take damage and die as appropriate, any code related to their death (like setting death variables or moving shop inventories) will not be executed, which could halt quests in their tracks or cause other problems. For instance, in the case of the Enlightened One, you wouldn't get the 2000 xp and Merk would never consider the task to be completed.
Running off the map while waiting for someone to die of a Super Stimpak overdose is also likely to crash the game. This will not happen for all nameless characters like NCR townspeople, but you can be sure that it happens with any critter that needs to set variables or do other things upon dying (and the Enlightened One is one of them). There is normally no reason to do this anyway.
In some areas killing certain people will make others hostile even if you manage a "silent" kill (e.g. Torr in downtown Klamath, AHS-9 or Westin if you do the Sneak-kill). You may not be attacked right away, but attempts to communicate or walk around openly are likely to end badly. This is because some death scripts set variables and so on regardless of how that death came about. Death by Dynamite or Super Stimpak should only have this effect in very rare cases, though.
Stop brahmin raids
Go to Westin's ranch and talk to Felix. With a recommendation from Dumont or Lynette, or if you have IN<4, he'll unlock the door for you. Westin will ask you to solve the mystery of his disappearing brahmin if you tell him Dumont sent you, or if you have IN<4, or if you ask him where to find Vault 13, or if you killed Bishop for him and ask if there's any more work. Talk to Felix again and you're teleported to the pastures. Wait a while... and two talking deathclaws appear and depart. You can now return to Westin and tell him he only has to post a guard for 1000 xp and $200. He'll also give you the location of Vault 15, which you probably don't need.
If you have a high Outdoorsman skill (100%) an exit grid will pop up in the northeast corner when the deathclaws are gone. Go there and follow them to their lair... Vault 13! There's actually a small glitch you can exploit here, but not to any great use. Even if the rocks aren't removed to reveal the new exit, you can click one of the hexes at the top that are half offscreen, and your character will run off the screen further down and onto the exit grid! You then get to go to Vault 13; however, it doesn't actually appear on your world map.
If you should leave the pastures by either exit grid before the deathclaws appear, or if you refuse to follow Felix to the pastures in the first place, you can't end the quest. This can be fixed by pressing 6 on the NCR town map (this is cheating), which brings you to the cow map so you can finish the quest (Felix and Westin will wait indefinitely for this).
If you already repaired the computer in Vault 13 you won't get this quest (except if you ask Westin for work directly after reporting that you killed Bishop), but you can use the same dialogue options to meet Westin. If you've talked to Gruthar before following Felix to the pastures, the deathclaws there will call you by name!
Don't attack the brahmin, because the game may lock up if you're in combat mode when the deathclaws appear. If you kill the brahmin afterwards Felix and Westin don't seem to care. For that matter, you can kill the two deathclaws for 2400 combat xp and the deathclaws in Vault 13 won't care either.
Eliminate Mr. Bishop
When you have Bishop's quest to kill Westin, tell him Bishop sent you and listen to what Westin's got to say. He'll offer you 50% more than Bishop did, and you can either tell him how much you were going to get or lie, adding 50% to your base payment (meaning Westin will offer $2250 if Bishop was offering you $1000 to begin with). Now all you have to do is kill Bishop in whichever way and return for your payment but no xp. A much better idea is to kill Westin and get Bishop's next quest.
Retrive Parts/Gain Access to Vault 15
Sheriff Dumont, Deputy Karl, Dusty, Doc Jubilee and the slave overseer have all mentioned that President Tandi is looking for a "specialist". Go to the Congress House and tell first Feargus and then Gunther that you're there for the job. Talk to Tandi and take this quest to "retrive" the computer parts, but don't ask for a reward! She'll put Vault 15 on your world map, of course, and give you infinite holodisks if you ask her about NCR. If you want to you can go to Deputy Karl and ask to see the prisoner. Attack him once and he'll give you some background information. No one cares if you kill him, actually. Off to Vault 15, then.
That's another Feargus right there. If you use Steal, First Aid or Doctor on him, for some reason he walks out of the building and disappears! I think that's some kind of bug. If you leave the map while he's still walking, he'll stop and you can then talk to him as usual. You can come in to see Tandi and get the job by assassinating Feargus and Gunther, but then it'll be hard to pick up the reward.
To complete this quest, either "win condition" will do. To secure access to the vault you must have killed Darion and talked to Zeke about letting NCR annex the Squat, in which case you don't need the parts. Or else you could just walk into the vault, take the parts and return with those without dealing with Darion. Tandi sends you to Gunther who will reward you with 5000 xp and $6000 no matter if you killed Darion, got the parts, or both. If you asked for money before, you only get $500 (but the same amount of xp). People are strange.
If you discovered Vault 13 and was allowed entry by Gruthar, you can tell Tandi about it when you report back about Vault 15 (and only then). If the deathclaws are still there, you have no option but to tell her about them, in which case she will think you're crazy. However, if you killed Gruthar, or if you visited Vault 13 after the Enclave killed the deathclaws, you can tell her it's free for the taking, and you will then gain a bonus when collecting the reward from Gunther. If you ask for $20,000 you will get that in addition to your normal monetary reward, otherwise the bonus will be "only" $10,000. In each case you also gain 2000 xp and 35 karma, so I don't see why you shouldn't ask for the twenty grand.
"Take care of Officer Jack" for Mira
Talk to Mira with a stupid character and at least ST 7; Merk will point you in her direction if you talk to him. She'll tell you to climb a rope over the city wall (it appears near the right edge of the map, you don't really need it). If it's nighttime when you enter downtown, Jack will be in the police station. Wait until dawn, and he'll walk over to the power station and threaten to blow himself up (see above), which is the best opportunity to waste him (2000 xp) without annoying anyone; you can actually let him blow himself up with the same result. When he's dead, head over to the bazaar and talk to Mira for your reward - a HK P90c!
This quest pops up when Jack dies even if it wasn't active before, so you can go and get Mira's reward although you don't get the extra xp for killing Jack. All characters can do this. If you let Jack blow himself up she says she's giving you a rad-a-waster, but you don't get any Booze in your inventory like you would if you bought one. If you killed him yourself, however, she gives you the HK P90c.
For a normally non-stupid character, the best time to get this quest would be after talking Jack out of blowing himself up. Use Mentats, Psycho and/or Buffout to get the quest, then go kill Jack silently in his cell for the 2000 xp. You must remain stupid to collect the reward.
Complete brahmin drive
Talk to Duppo about work and he'll give you this quest. The caravan master shows up outside the gate to Westin's estate around 8 a.m. next morning and waits there for 6 hours, although he won't disappear as long as you stay on this map. You should save your game before talking to the caravan leader, and keep that slot intact until you're done with this quest, because like all caravan jobs it's buggy as hell. On your way to Redding you'll face 1-4 random encounters of extremely varying difficulty (see Redding for caravan behaviour). Upon arrival you earn cash depending on how many brahmin survived: $0 (0), $1000 (1-3), $2000 (4-5) or $3000 (6-10), but no quest xp. Since you actually walk all the way from NCR to Redding this quest will take a while in game time (more than 2 months walking back and forth). If you have the car you don't get to bring it. Of course, you could take your chances with another caravan... If you ask Duppo about work after this quest, he'll tell you to come back in a few months, but this dialogue never changes no matter how long you wait.
This caravan job differs from the usual ones in a few ways. Firstly, Hal won't give the all-clear signal out loud, so you'll have to use your own judgement (remember that mobsters must be killed). Secondly, you can abandon this caravan - or even kill everyone in it! - and still go to Redding and pick up your reward (always $1000 in this case, unless all the brahmin died before you left the caravan). Thirdly, there will be one less guard for each of your NPCs if you have any.
Don't click on Hal in caravan encounters, because this will reset the "encounter counter" (as well as every other caravan variable such as the number of guards and brahmin), meaning you can literally get infinite encounters. While this could be a good thing if you want lots of xp and weapons - some of these encounters are much tougher, but also more rewarding, than normal ones - it could also get a bit annoying. Remember to bring plenty of ammo...
Hmm, the layout of this place has changed a bit since the original game. I guess Zeke's house is supposed to be the shack with the manhole in it, but where did that cliff face come from?
When you first get here, people won't be very talkative. Zeke won't talk to you, Dalia guarding the path to the northeast won't let you pass, so your only choice is talking to Rebecca, the woman standing south of the tent in the middle. Follow her into the tent and choose your dialogue options wisely for some information and eventually quest 3.
To enter the vault, use Zeke's keycard on the metal door in the cliff. If you try to open the door without it, you'll take 10-20 damage; with a ludicrously high Lockpick skill (250%, no lockpick item will work) you can actually pick the door, but you'll still take damage every time you open or close it (unless your Traps skill is also in the same range, which will prevent you from getting hurt but also from opening the door). Once inside, simply don't talk to any of the guards and you don't have to fight them. If you're addressed by the woman in front of the elevator as you come down, you can tell her your name is Pat if your IN and Speech are up to it and they'll think you're one of them, else you have to fight them (this turns the Khans on levels 2 and 3 hostile as well).
The doctor on level 1 will heal you for free (HP, poison and radiation, no NPCs), but won't talk to you at all if you've killed any of the squatters. He'll give you some pointless info on Darion. You can't tell him he's free to leave even if you kill Darion's people. The computer terminal on the wall by the forcefield emitter will turn the forcefield on or off once you restore power. The ladder at the bottom of this map should theoretically go to the manhole in Zeke's house, but since that's inaccessible until you seal the deal with NCR you end up outside instead. Error, does not compute.
Whatever you do on level 2, don't miss the Combat Armor in the footlocker (and the .223 Pistol isn't so bad, either). Use first Science and then Repair on the generator to bring power back online for 3000 xp. This has the effect of starting up the forcefield by the entrance on level 1. If you anticipate some trouble fighting the raiders I recommend that you start the battle on this level, because you can then avoid the vulnerable starting position in front of the elevator.
The forcefield can be temporarily disabled using Repair on the emitter as usual. Using explosives is a more expensive and also less reliable way; most likely the first Dynamite will only make the field flicker for a few seconds, but the second should take it out. If you try using Lockpick, Science or Repair on the forcefield itself, you end up taking 10-15 points of damage.
On level 3, the leftmost working computer contains the location of Vault 13 if you pass a Science check. The "middle" one is used to turn the entrance forcefield on or off (IN<4 characters can use this one but not the one on level 1). Actually you should turn it off since it'll get damn annoying during the fight on your way out if you didn't already kill the Khans on level 1. One of the lockers holds the computer parts Tandi was talking about, but if you're going to fight Darion you don't need them.
On level 3 you find the anomalous HK P90c which is initially loaded with 9mm ammo (but can only be reloaded with 10mm). It's been theorized that this weapon was originally meant to use this calibre, but that it was changed either inadvertently or because of the scarcity of 9mm ammo. Some robbers in caves with HK P90c's also carry 9mm ammo, although their guns are loaded with 10mm ammo.
The computer in Darion's room will give you a Spy Holodisk if you pass a Science check. Tell Tandi and then Gunther about it, show him the holodisk for proof (IN 7 required) and you get 4000 xp and $4000. Feargus, the spy in question, walks away, and there doesn't seem to be anything you can do to stop him. He'll also leave if you tell him you've learned there is a spy.
IN<4: You can get the Spy Holodisk from the computer and even tell Tandi about it, but you can't report to Gunther and get the reward because of the IN requirement. This could be an oversight, or maybe your character has the memory of a goldfish.
Talk to Zeke after quest 3 and he'll ask you to kill Darion and give you the keycard you need to enter the Vault. (He'll also put the NCR on your map in case you needed that.) You get 6000 xp for this deed. You can enter the room on level 3 where Darion is without anyone attacking at once as long as you don't talk to them or move too close to Darion; his guards won't budge even if you fight the other Khans on this level. Position your party members around the room and initiate combat by talking to Darion, or shooting someone. If you talk to him you can actually barter his ammo, Stimpaks and Buffout for some empty guns from level 2 or something, but that's silly. After you kill Darion everyone in the vault will turn hostile (except for the doctor, of course), which is a problem because they insist on using those chems which are rightfully yours!
Someone's overheard your conversation with Rebecca. Go over to Dalia and she'll let you pass. Leave the map to the northeast. You can now go about this in one of three ways:
- Sneaky way: go along the top of the screen (Sneak isn't necessary, but it helps), disarm the trap on the door on the north side of the building (you need to use Traps twice, once to find the trap and again to disarm it), pick the lock, do the same thing with the door to the northeast, and there's Chrissy. Tell her to come along. If Phil sees you leaving he'll attack at once.
- Diplomatic way: approach Phil, and choose the "one of us will die" line. He'll hand you the key to the shack, but if you talk to him again he'll attack. Using the key on any of the trapped doors will unlock it and disarm the trap at the same time, but where's the fun in that?
- Aggressive way: blast Phil and Karla into little pieces. Karla has a Sniper Rifle, so don't let her catch you out in the open.
Returning to Rebecca you get 2500 xp and an introduction to Zeke so you can get quests 2 and 4. Incidentally, if you kill Zeke and Dalia first instead of getting this quest properly it still plays out the same (except you can't talk Phil out of fighting), including Rebecca going to "talk to Zeke".
Complete deal with NCR
Even if you don't get this from Zeke it's automatically taken care of in conversation with Tandi when you finish NCR quest 10, unless you did it by only delivering the parts. You don't gain any xp for this quest, it just sort of happens (and decides which ending you get for Vault 15). There's not even any need to return to Vault 15 afterwards if you didn't leave anything there.
One thing of notice, though: the Squat map will change, leaving any items you may have left there inaccessible, though your car will be on the new map if it was parked there, idle NPCs will be waiting (except for Laddie), and items on critters will remain. Zeke will stand in his redecorated NCR-style house complaining that you've doomed the squatters, which is something of a bug. The manhole in Zeke's house will now be accessible, though.
As stated above, you can find the location of Vault 13 in Vault 15, or from Saltbeef's painting, or from following the deathclaws from the brahmin map. Once you open the vault door and enter the first floor of the vault you gain 2000 xp. As soon as you open the inner door, a few deathclaws pop out of the woodwork. It's not an ambush, though, these ones want to talk. The ensuing dialogue with pack leader Gruthar can end in three ways: with you accepting to help them fix their computer, or with you being ejected from the map, or with a big fight. If you're evil, i.e. have karma -1 or lower or are a Childkiller or Berserker, Gruthar casts Detect Evil and won't let you inside the vault. Your options then become sneaking, leaving or fighting (at least until you manage to get your karma back up above -1, which is probably not what you're aiming for if you have negative karma at this stage).
You can sneak in or run past Gruthar in combat mode and no one will treat you differently. You can then examine and fix the computer and return to Gruthar for your reward even if you don't meet his moral standards.
When you kill some of the deathclaws using a pulse weapon with the violence level on maximum, they'll disintegrate leaving a strange purple square on the ground. This is not actually supposed to happen. You can pick up the Claw items and even wield them yourself, but they're not very good as mêlée weapons go.
There isn't really that much to do in Vault 13. On levels 1 and 2 you can't do much more than talk to people and hear their stories, most of which are quite heart-warming (except maybe Dave's, but that's great fun). Usually you can then reply in an admiring, neutral or spiteful manner. Most often it doesn't matter which response you choose, but there are some critters you can talk into attacking if you're rude and/or aggressive enough. Maybe least obviously, if you tell Sandy to stop with the "cat bullshit" her mother will attack (and, as a result, everyone else).
The doc on level 1 will heal you for free (HP and poison, not NPCs). This isn't a good idea if you're radiated, though, since Joseph will try to double your current dose (how well he succeeds depends on your Radiation Resistance). ACE in San Francisco had this bug as well before the patch, but at least that was fixed!
On level 2 you can agree to help Matt escape (you must ask him why he's not allowed on level 1 when you get the chance, or you won't get another one). If you do, you're teleported to level 1 where the guard attacks Matt. If you do nothing, Matt will be massacred and that's it, but Gruthar will turn hostile if you tell him "Screw you and everyone who looks like you" (or the stupid equivalent, which is not obviously offensive). If you help Matt escape by killing Thearn and Gruthar, he just runs away and disappears without so much as a thank you, and you get no extra xp or anything. After you examine the computer you can provoke Matt into attacking you, or you could even execute him in cold blood with no consequences.
If Matt dies but Gruthar remains alive, the game will crash if you leave the vault and return, or if you save and load in the vault. This happens regardless of whether you kill him yourself or he is killed by the deathclaws. You can move freely between the three levels and finish what business you have, but don't bring about Matt's demise unless you're killing the deathclaws or you don't plan to return to Vault 13 until after the massacre.
On level 3 you can pick the lockers and take the stuff, including a G.E.C.K. (remember your Arroyo quest?) and the important Navcom Parts, and no one will notice or care.
Fix the Vault 13 computer
The computer is in the Overseer's room on level 3. Looking inside it will lead you to discover the problem. Get a Computer Voice Module and use it on the terminal (or just access the terminal with the module in your inventory) to fix it. If you ask Jimmy about where to get one he will in a clairvoyant fashion point you in the direction of Vault City and New Reno. Talk to Gruthar afterwards for 5000 xp, and if you didn't already take the G.E.C.K. he'll hand it to you.
Two weeks after you get the 5000 xp from Gruthar, Frank Horrigan and his Enclave goons will arrive to butcher the deathclaws (unless you're there, of course, in which case they just wait until you've left). Everyone dies but Goris, and you can use the computer to see a video sequence of what happened. In order to keep the deathclaws alive to the end of the game, don't collect the reward (see the Endings section for more on this). Killing Gruthar stops the massacre from happening, but then you'll get the bad ending anyway. A little weirdly, it's perfectly possible to trigger the massacre after you've been to the Enclave and killed Horrigan.
Mark Furmage adds: "When you watch the killing of Gruthar the pack leader in the 'hologram' the game actually generates the people in the hall, so if you're in dire need of thrills and have a lot of explosives you can kill Gruthar and the Enclave patrolmen. Watch out for Horrigan as he seems to be able to hit your character through Gruthar's still living body... or dead body if you throw some explosives near him. The bodies disappear when the hologram finishes, you get the xp however." Only one charge will go off at a time, so it's very difficult to kill any of the Enclave soldiers. Having NPCs around helps, as they will be visible and may end up attacking the soldiers or even your invisible self. Sebastian Cassten even managed to kill Horrigan using an elaborate scheme that I'll just sum up briefly. Get a number of NPCs with the capacity to deal lots of damage (like Marcus with a Vindicator Minigun and plenty of ammunition). Then give them ridiculous amounts of AP (you can get them to 99) using a vast supply of Jet and the save/load trick (see Items) - but do it quickly, since the duration is only five minutes. Place an NPC (Goris might be suitable for this) in the doorway from the corridor so that the rest won't follow you when you go to activate the recording. Finally, you can tell some or all of your people to attack "the strongest" to make them focus on getting Horrigan. Hopefully your explosives should result in enough combat rounds for them to get the job done with their artificially increased number of attacks.
Talk to Goris
Gruthar can give you this "quest" by telling you Goris has more knowledge in certain matters. You complete the quest simply by entering dialogue with Goris. After you've asked him a lot of stuff (he puts the Military Base on your map when you ask him what he knows about the Enclave) you can ask him to join your party. Beware that if you leave conversation before you've asked him everything you can, afterwards you'll only be able to ask him to join you (unless for some reason he won't, in which case you get another shot at the questions).
Goris is the only one who can highlight this on your world map, though Chris in Navarro and Jimmy in Vault 13 both mention its existence. However, although it's a base it's got a large circle on the world map meaning it's always there.
When you get here, loot everything in the tents. The wolves will run around howling for a while, then attack. Poor misguided wolfies.
The entrance to the base is blocked, and planting Dynamite by the rocks does nothing... but never fear, the game practically tells you how to solve this little puzzle through hints and messages. To clear the entrance, first pick up the Metal Pole from the sidewalk. Use it on the cart to attach it. Get a Dynamite from the shack to the north and use it on the pole (no need to arm it first). Then push the cart (ST check needed, try until you succeed) and boom, you get 5000 xp for removing those rocks.
If you stick an armed Dynamite on the pole, it will look like it's duplicated - on the pole and on the ground at the same time - but this is just the game's way of remembering that the Dynamite on the pole was armed, so that it can be removed if it should go off before you push the cart. Um, never mind.
Inside, shoot the rats (they're of the variety that radiates you) and loot the bodies (as in the SAD, the holodisks tell a story but aren't used for anything). To the north there's a mutant named Grundel who's hunting for rats and turning his back. If you want to test the Mutagenic Serum without wasting an innocent mutant in Broken Hills, here's a good opportunity. Just walk up behind Grundel and use the serum on him. Slooorrp. Use Repair (at least 50% needed, you can use a Tool) on the generator to get the lights and elevator working for 1500 xp, and remember that the blue boxes can be searched.
On level 2 it's time to kick some righteous butt, something this game doesn't often encourage you to do. The two mutants in the room to the far right can sometimes be taken out without alerting the others, but the two large groups will notice if you attack either. One possibility is to go to the narrow passage to the room with the bunk beds, shoot a mutant from there and pick them off as they come running. Problem is that your party members might run forward and get themselves killed, but that's what combat settings are for. I find the Bozar works wonders in these close quarters. Or take them out using your favourite tactics, shooting them in the eyes with a Sniper Rifle or whatever, I don't really care. The award for most significant loot on this level goes to the suit of Power Armor in the locker room.
On level 3 there are some mutants and rats. Most significant loot is the Green Memory Module in the locker. I find this fight a lot harder than the one on level 2, because there are fiends with Laser and Plasma Rifles who can score mean critical hits. Try not to let them swarm you, retreat behind corners with leftover AP.
On level 4 there's no one but a lone mutant standing in the radioactive goo that used to be inside the fabled vats (stepping in it will hurt you). Only this is no ordinary mutant, but Melchior Sr. the stage magician, whose small furry creatures have mutated into somewhat more formidable shapes! When you come near he'll blurt something which goes too fast to read (about him being a great magician), and you have no option but to fight him. (Well, theoretically you could yelp like a scared bunny and turn the hell back, but...) Every turn he'll summon up some monsters to help him: first four powerful deathclaws, two at a time, then four fire geckos (who can breathe devastating fire twice each turn), one at a time, then four floaters, one at a time, then six mutated mole rats, one at a time. If you kill all the pets before finishing Melchior (tell your party members to attack "Whomever is closest"), you get 14,315 xp from this battle. Once you kill him and whatever remaining pets, you can get a Gauss Pistol from the ammo crate. You've now officially conquered the Military Base, which means...
Pennyliu123 found a strategy for this fight which requires you to have one or more NPCs. Make sure they follow you past the bottleneck at the entrance to Melchior's room. Once he turns hostile, you can run back just behind the wooden support; with any luck one of your NPCs will move to block the passage. Melchior's pets, unable to reach you, will gather around him instead, so that you and (at times) your NPCs can shoot at them freely. You should definitely save first as there may be crashes.
You can get items from fire geckos the same way you get items from rocketbots (see the SAD section). Bodies you can use for the purpose include Melchior, NPCs (dead or unconscious), and unfortunate Enclave soldiers near the elevator. Normally a fire gecko corpse contains a Golden Gecko Pelt, which is hardly worth the extra effort. If killed with a 0-damage critical to the eyes, however, they will instead leave their Flame Breath behind. This is a kind of flamethrower which looks like a big rifle but uses the Small Guns skill and which cannot be reloaded. You can also get these items in random encounters (using NPCs) or at the Toxic waste dump (using NPCs or other geckos). An alternative way of getting the Flame Breath is to knock a gecko unconscious on a hex where there is already a lootable corpse present, but this requires a bit of luck and they may end up using all their "ammo" while you're waiting for them to stop in the right spot.
"Oh, like: 'Why can't I use a sword or a chainsaw on my monitor?'"”— The Chosen One and Dave Handy
Using the Survey Map from the Military Base is the only way to find San Francisco, other than just going here, of course. This is actually a neat place, because you'll find two of the most worthwhile shops in game here, the Flying Dragon 8, which is a kind of general store which also carries some weapons and armour, and the Red 888 Guns, which carries guns, armour and ammo. From the latter you'll want to grab the Gauss Rifle right away, and both shops will have Power Armors for sale (if not right away then after a little while has passed). You can also buy handbooks and Stimpak ingredients, and this is the only place you find Tesla Armors, although myself I've never used one of those. Each of the stores has two tables with different stuff on them. Lao Chou in the Flying Dragon 8 can also give you surprisingly accurate information on where to find the Tanker Fob and NavCom Parts once you get those quests.
The first time you come here, if you walk towards the village square you'll see two people in a fighting ring, who exchange a few blows and then disappear. Those are the martial arts dudes of this town. Beware that once you've triggered the scripted sequence, you mustn't leave the map before they've left the ring (this is possible if you run towards the exit as soon as they begin), or Lo Pan will be stuck inside (see Addenda for a bug note on how wrong this can get).
Don't bother searching any of the containers, they're all empty including the lockers. It makes me think this place was designed by the same people that made Broken Hills. In fact all containers in all SF areas are empty, with a few easily enumerated exceptions: the two lockers in the Brotherhood building, and the lockers and footlockers and one bookcase in the Hubologist base.
If you worry about paying for expensive Power Armors that you may not need later, you can use this formula. Take the number of party members that can wear armour (Sulik, Vic, Cassidy, Lenny, Myron, Miria/Davin), add yourself, deduct three (the number of "free" Power Armors found on the mainland), and add one if you plan to finish Dr Jing's quest later on. Now you have the number of suits you need to buy from the stores.
The left table in the Red 888 Guns store restocks money which does not go into the shopkeeper's inventory until you access that table (most often you'll be buying ammo off the other one). Unlike most shops the money restocks separately on the respective shop owners, $2000-5000 every one to three weeks. If you have traded them more cash than that it won't disappear, but neither will they get more.
Dr Fung will provide healing (HP and crippled limbs except for eye damage, charging from $100 to $600, no NPCs), sell you Stimpaks (restocking every 1-7 days) and perform implant surgery (which requires knowledge of the VC schematics and using up a Combat Armor for each):
- Dermal Impact Armor: $5500, 2 days.
- Dermal Impact Asslt. Enhance.: $33,000, 5 days, CH -1.
- Phoenix Armor Implants: $8500, 3 days.
- Phoenix Assault Enhancement: $49,000, 4 days, CH -1.
Beware that Dr Fung is horribly bugged, so getting either of the two Enhancements here will not raise your Damage Resistance any, and furthermore, if you already got the Enhancements somewhere else, Dr Fung will offer to perform the first upgrade again, with the mayhap surprising result that you'll lose Damage Resistance. These two bugs happen for the same reason: while the other two doctors remove the "basic" perk when they give you the "enhanced" perk, Dr Fung leaves the basic perk in place, which apparently causes the game to ignore the effects of the advanced one. When you arrive with an advanced upgrade given to you by another doctor, Dr Fung sees only that you don't have the basic one and tries to give you that - with the result that the game will disregard the advanced one you already had, effectively lowering your DR. "Painless" Doc Johnson is cheaper anyway, so always go there.
The house with the garden is the Dragon's place. He'll train characters of good alignment (karma 250 or more) for +5% Unarmed each day, a maximum of four times or until you reach 100%. See quests 12 and 13 for more details, but don't challenge any of the martial arts guys to mortal combat until you've taken both their tests for the xp, and don't take the test until you've got all the training (because afterwards you can't). The Dragon will stop talking to you if you say evil things, so don't do that.
Remember that if you're wearing Power Armor, it raises your ST and thereby your Unarmed, so removing it may help things. You can also lower your ST and AG using the after-effects of Buffout if your Unarmed is hovering above 99%.
The house across the street to the west is where Lo Pan hangs out, the guy who brings a gun into the ring for backup. He'll give characters of evil alignment (karma -250 or less) exactly the same kind of training as the Dragon. If you're not that evil, don't ask him for training or he won't talk to you any more. Instead challenge him to a test of skills - see quest 13.
Beware of bugs while fighting. If you end combat after killing your opponent but before you get the "You win" sign you'll be trapped inside the ring, in which case you must reload immediately since there's no way to get out. To be safe, stick to end turn at all times. It can also happen - when fighting the Dragon's people, at least - that you start winning fights automatically in the first round, but that all fighters remain in the ring and beat you up between fights! Sébastien Caisse comments: "You've probably noticed that in fights, when you get the 'You win' message, you have an extra round, often used by some people to kill the opponent - making bugs appear. However this round was actually provided to save your game. The only 100% 'glitchless' way is to not kill anyone." Depending on your fighting skills, perks and damage you may have to try hard not to do that. I've actually managed to kill every single fighter without any bugs appearing.
Once you have access to the Brotherhood bunker, go down there and grab the good stuff in the lockers, including two rare pulse weapons and the one-of-a-kind Brotherhood Armor (although that should be worthless to you by now). The medical computer can raise your ST, PE, IN and CH by one if you have the corresponding Memory Modules (red, green, yellow and blue respectively). This will take a few weeks for each, so go check the stores in between each operation. ACE also heals HP, poison, radiation and crippled limbs (except for eye damage) for free, but not NPCs.
If you begin the game having CH 10 but not the Gifted trait, you won't be able to use ACE's Charisma increase to offset the penalty of a dermal implant. You can go through with the operation but it won't do anything.
You gain skill points based on your Intelligence when you first enter the character screen after levelling up. Thus if you don't view your character sheet at all for a few levels (but not more than three, or you'll miss a perk!) before raising your IN, you'll get skill points based retroactively on your new IN. This should also work with the Hubologist IN rise, but obviously not the Gain Intelligence perk.
If you go northwest from downtown SF, you enter the docks section. There's nothing to do on this map, go directly north to the tanker. In here you'll find two not-so-worthwhile shops (the "gun" merchant has the Jet Antidote for Redding if you couldn't get it from Dr Troy, but only restocks every 1 or 2 weeks) and a few quests to be done before you can sail away into the sunset. The bar is always closed (because the script contains a condition which is always true). Marc beside the bar can answer a few questions. The captain upstairs won't talk to you until you finish quest 11 or 14, but once you do he'll give you quests 2, 3 and 10 (or 1, 2 and 10 depending on which "steal" quest you choose... in any case, those are the NavCom, Fob and fuel quests he gives you), all of which must be completed for the tanker to take off. The computer nearby will tell you what still needs to be done (and will in fact put the NavCom and fuel quests on your list), and you also use this computer to sail off once everything's taken care of.
If you kill any of the named vagrants and Sneak over to Badger (so he doesn't get to enter combat mode) and talk to him, he'll say he turned the Shi and the Hubologists against you through his computer. The Shi will turn hostile, but not the Hubologists. Well, that's pretty useless.
One of the black-haired female vagrants has a rare XL70E3, but you'd have to kill her for it (Super Stimpaks will do, if you don't plan to wipe out everyone here). The other one has a Gauss Rifle, as does Marc. Several of the other punks walk around with H&K G11s that you can steal if you are so inclined. At this point in the game money and extra weaponry should mean very little to you.
Once you set sail you won't be able to return to the mainland before finishing the game, so you should decide what NPCs, items and weaponry you should bring. Strictly speaking you don't need to bring anything at all, but if your character doesn't have a high IN and/or Speech, you may want to bring plenty of ammo and some devastating weaponry.
A player who calls himself Mikes_29 has made the point that if you plan on levelling up on random encounters in the wasteland, you should do it before the Enclave. This way you have something to look forward to, whereas playing when there is nothing left to do will most likely feel significantly less rewarding (and then you'll be able to get any number of free xp by other means). One argument for making no xp runs at all before taking on the Enclave is that this way of boosting your character makes it mostly irrelevant how well you performed during the earlier stages of the game. But this is all up to you, of course.
Now there are two factions in San Francisco except for the Brotherhood, namely the Shi, who make up the bulk of the population, and the Hubologists, who form a crazy evil sect with an uncanny resemblance to... something. The leaders of the former reside in the Steel Palace to the east of the downtown map, while the others are holed up beneath what appears to be the remains of one end of the Golden Gate bridge, to the northeast of Chinatown.
In the Steel Palace, you'll find three different types of computer terminal (aside from the usual generic ones which cannot be used): the chemistry workstations (the room to the left when you come in, and the three along the wall in the room to the right), the physics workstations (the ones inside the railing in the room to the right) and the biology workstations (some of the terminals in the room to the north past the throne room). When you first arrive here only the chemistry terminals can be accessed; the other two, which you have no real use for anyway, must be activated from the mainframe. (Don't mind the "incredible luck" message you get when trying to access the biology workstations, it's a scripting error.) You don't actually need a good Science skill to hack into a workstation, all that happens is that the lab techs' floating text changes.
If you proceed through the throne room and use Repair on the forcefield emitter (nothing happens if you fail), you can try to hack into the Shi mainframe. With good Science you can do this for 3000 xp, but after you log off the guards will have noticed and everyone will be hostile, including the people in Chinatown. Bad. If you have Science at least 115%, however, you can hack into the computer without anyone ever noticing, and then you get 7000 xp instead. Good. From here you can activate the workstations and access them, as well as read some trivia and format the hard drive (not your own - the one in the game). If Ken Lee gave you the password you don't get any xp from using it to access the computer, but you can still hack your way in for the xp (the Shi will turn hostile if you do a poor job of it, though). Of course, failing a hacking attempt completely turns everyone hostile as well.
Apart from doing quest 8, you can get the password from Ken Lee by asking for fuel if you have the tanker fuel quest active (you get one chance) and pass a difficult Speech check. You can still get the quests from him afterwards.
I think the only thing you can do at a workstation that you can't do from the mainframe is read a personnel file in the biology database, which is not important. However, one big difference is that from the chemistry workstations you can divert fuel to the tanker and the space shuttle, if you have both those quest, while the mainframe will realize after you move the fuel to one place that there isn't any left. This is a bug.
Over at the Hubologist base, talk to Dave Handy outside, ask him where he's from and why he's come here to find out he's got a crush on Vikki Goldmann downstairs. After you mention this to Vikki, return to Dave and tell him what she said. If you say she made fun of him, you get a one-shot chance to tell him to get back at her by doing quest-related stuff. If you tell him she thinks he's hot you can leave conversation and return later if there's anything you want him to do, but it might mean missing a few xp (see quest 10).
Asking him to format the Hubologist hard drive (Speech check needed) for 0 xp has two minor effects: firstly you gain 25 karma, and secondly AHS-9 will not give you quest 4 if you ask him for work (but AHS-7 will). If you mock Dave afterwards, he attacks. Apart from that no one cares. Additionally, Misha found that if you told Dave that Vikki likes him you can have him do this as many times as you like and obtain the karma bonus each time. If you don't mind exploiting a bug this is probably the easiest way of quickly raising your karma by a large amount.
In my opinion, the Hubologists are in their own way far more despicable and dangerous than either New Reno or Vault City, though some may disagree. Still, they give quests, so they must be obeyed (we can always kill them later). To become a Hubologist you first need to get inside the base, in any of these simple ways:
- Tell the AHS-7 you have a letter for the AHS-9, if you have the quest from NCR.
- Tell the AHS-7 you need to see Crocket, if you've spoken to Lao Chou or Dr Jing about him.
- Tell the AHS-7 you're thinking of joining the Hubologists.
- Use Repair on the forcefield emitters. No one seems to mind.
- With IN<4 the AHS-7 will let you pass if you got the alignment in NCR or if you say you want to get one.
Find Vikki and Juan to the northeast and listen to their sales pitch, or at least set them off by walking up to them and then go loot the footlockers while they prattle (you can also skip their speech by resting). If you talk to them afterwards and agree to join, you get a holodisk but are not a true Hubologist until you go to speak to the AHS-7 by the stairs. If you didn't get the zeta scan in NCR, you have to subject yourself to one now in order to become a Hubologist. After joining the AHS-7 for a session in the prayer room, either your IN and LK will increase by 1, or your LK will drop by 1. These changes are permanent, so save first. He'll try to give you quest 7, and now you can also talk to Harry outside to get quests. You can get the scan here and still turn down the offer to become a Hubologist, but they won't like you afterwards.
IN<4: The whole thing is a bit different for a stupid character. If you got the zeta scan in NCR you can head on in and get quest 4 from the AHS-9 only. If you didn't, then you'll get the alignment from Juan and Vikki, not from the AHS-7. Note that if you have IN 3 then the "good" result of this scan will make you unstupid, which is probably not what you want (especially considering the reward for quest 4, see below), so I'd recommend getting the scan in NCR instead.
If you become a Hubologist, none of Dr Fung, Lo Pan or the Dragon in Chinatown will talk to you (so you may want to do all quests related to them first). Strangely enough, the Shi will. If you fight the Hubologists you'll be able to talk to these people again (this is a change from v1.0).
In one of the footlockers you will find a pointless oddity: two lit Flares. Their unlimited duration might have been a good thing, if they had actually emitted light, which they don't, and if anyone had ever used Flares anyway. They can be sold, though.
Crocket in the room with the Hubologist mainframe will upgrade two suits of Power Armor into Hardened Power Armor for $10,000 each. You can also threaten to kill him if he doesn't do it for free, but he may call your bluff so save first. Or you could just steal your money back. If you get quest 15 you can make him upgrade any number of suits even though he says he's out of chemicals. Accessing the mainframe (good Science needed, try until you succeed) doesn't lead to anything useful at all; it may have been intended for an omitted quest, or just for flavour.
There's a slight glitch here: you can pay Crocket to upgrade multiple armours as long as you don't leave dialogue, and lose money (assuming you pay, that is) and one Power Armor each time, but naturally when he's done you only get one back. This would be sort of the opposite of bug exploitation.
The forcefields in the Hubologist and Shi bases can be taken out with Repair or Dynamite without alerting anyone (if you use explosives and fail a Traps roll the field will just flicker for 1-2 minutes). You'll have to do this in order to get out once you start killing people in either place. Bring a Tool if you want to be able to disable the forcefields in combat mode.
A note on the numbers in the quest list below: You cannot be assigned to steal the Vertibird Plans from both the Shi and the Hubologists in the same game, for the simple reason that you must choose one faction to give the plans to in the first place. (This is the only time in Fallout 2 where two Pipboy quest entries are mutually exclusive; finishing conflicting quests is of course a completely different matter.) If you get as many quests as possible in your quest log (which means you have to become a Hubologist), the Hubologist fuel quest will always be quest number 6. For this reason there are two quests with the number 5 in the list, so that all the quests with higher numbers in your log will match those in this list. If that seems confusing, feel free to ignore the numbers altogether.
Steal the vertibird plans from the Hubologists
You'll get this quest from Ken Lee if you gave the Vertibird Plans to the Hubologists. One way of stealing them is to ask Dave Handy to copy the plans for you when you get him to do stuff for you (you can then drop them and ask for more, but there's no need for that). You get this option even if you don't have the quest active, as long as the Shi have asked you for the plans. Badger can also hack into the Hubologist computer for you if you give him a day or three. Bringing them back to Dr Wong earns you 5000 xp.
You can get the quest to retrieve the plans from Navarro and then to steal them if you give the plans to the Hubologists in the meantime. Even if you have both quests active you still only get one reward for bringing a copy, though.
Once you've delivered a set of the plans to a faction they can't lose it; all you can do is copy it for the other faction. So you can't literally steal the plans back and forth forever. Uh, in case anyone was wondering. :)
Once you have the NavCom Parts from Vault 13 and the Tanker Fob from Navarro, go to the navagational (sic) computer, taking the ladder from the locked room in the hold, and use the parts on it for 2000 xp.
You get this quest when you examine the lock mechanism in the hold of the tanker or after talking to the captain. Bring the Tanker Fob from Navarro and use it on the thingy beside the door in the hold to open the door and gain 2000 xp.
Kill the Shi emperor
You can get this task from the AHS-7 (or AHS-9) after killing Badger, or if you tell the AHS-9 that you've come to kill him on behalf of the Shi, or if you have IN<4 in which case you only get this one. As you may already know, the Shi Emperor is actually a computer in the room behind the throne (the whole thing is kinda reminiscent of the Dead Nations in Planescape: Torment), and one way of doing this quest is to hack into it and format the hard drive. This isn't exactly a good idea, since all the Shi including those in Chinatown and all the shopkeepers will turn hostile. However, the other way is to kill Ken Lee, which can be done with Super Stimpaks without offending a soul. You get 5000 xp when you return to AHS-7 or AHS-9 with news of your Kirk-like computer-wrecking skills or Stimpak sneakiness, but then the AHS-9 will basically tell you to piss off.
If you already got the fuel for the Hubologists you only get one chance to ask AHS-7 for this quest, and you won't be able to report back to him (for that, go to the AHS-9 instead). You can restore this dialogue by moving the fuel on to the tanker.
IN<4: The AHS-9 will actually have a reward for the stupid character: preparing the tanker just like after the Brotherhood quest (see below). Thus you get 5000 extra xp for getting the fuel (even if you already secured it), and what's more, the thing is bugged so that you can talk to the AHS-9 again for 5000 xp each time.
It's not possible to be rewarded for both assassination quests. If you start by formatting the computer you won't be able to talk to Ken Lee later, and after you collect your reward for killing AHS-9 you won't be able to close this one by talking to AHS-7.
Harry the rocket supervisor will give you this quest once you become a Hubologist. Navarro will show up on the map so you can go there for the plans. Hand them over for 5000 xp.
Steal the vertibird plans from the Shi
You get this quest from Harry instead of (or in addition to) quest 5 (the other quest 5... which will then be quest 4, since you didn't get quest 1. Get it?) if you've given the Vertibird Plans to the Shi. If Badger owes you a favour he can get the plans for you in a day or three (and/or the fuel for the tanker, if you have that quest), and gets whacked by the Shi afterwards. See quest 1 for additional notes. 5000 xp as usual.
The Hubologists need fuel for their spaceship
This is Harry's second quest. Dave Handy or Badger cannot get this fuel for you, you must either deal with Dr Jing (see quest 15) or hack the Shi computer system. Getting the fuel is worth 6000 xp, and as in quest 10 you get 3000 more if you do it from the Shi mainframe (but you get these even if you got permission from Lee). If you already moved fuel from the Shi you can only get it from a workstation.
Kill Badger so the tanker vagrants will embrace the Hub
This is the first task the AHS-7 (or AHS-9) gives you when you become a Hubologist. Walk over to the tanker and kill Badger in your preferred way (Super Stimpaks or a Bozar to the eyes), then return to the AHS-7 for your reward of 3000 xp. Now for quest 4.
Kill the AHS-9
You get this quest from Ken Lee either after giving the Vertibird Plans to the Shi, or if you tell him you've been sent by the Hubologists to kill the Emperor. Or just kill the AHS-9 anyway. You get 5000 xp when you return to Ken Lee afterwards, and he'll give you the password to the Shi computer.
If you accepted this quest after getting the quest to kill the Emperor, the AHS-9 will know and attack if you talk to him. The same thing happens, a little counter-intuitively, if you get this one first and then get the other quest from AHS-7.
If you ask Ken Lee in the Steel Palace for fuel or to see the Emperor, he'll charge you with giving the Vertibird Plans to Dr Wong. Navarro appears on your map. (If you already gave the plans to the Hubologists, you get quest 1 instead.) This is worth 5000 xp, and you get quest 8 if you still want to see the Emperor.
The tanker needs fuel
You find out about this quest on the bridge of the tanker, from the computer or from the captain. There are several ways of getting fuel for the tanker, which is worth 5000 xp unless otherwise specified:
- From Dr Jing after doing quest 15.
- From Badger after doing quest 11.
- From a Shi chemistry workstation.
- From the Shi mainframe (a bonus of 3000 xp if you did not yet gain Ken Lee's permission to use the computer).
- From Dave Handy after talking to Vikki (5000 xp if you tell him she made fun of him and he gets the fuel from the Shi, 3000 xp if you tell him she made fun of him and he gets it from the Hubologists, no xp if you tell him she thinks he's hot).
- From Matthew when you complete quest 16 if you have IN<4.
- From the AHS-9 when you complete quest 4 if you have IN<4.
The last two options don't take fuel from any particular place. Of the others, only Handy can get the fuel if the Hubologists have it (Badger says he can, but see below). Using the workstation is the only way you can get fuel from the Shi after you've already moved it from there.
You can get double experience by taking advantage of a glitch: tell Badger to transfer fuel (from the Shi or the Hubologists), then get the fuel in some other way while he's busy hacking, and finally return to collect Badger's xp. Another Badger bug is that if the Hubologists have the fuel and you ask him to get it from there, this triggers the completion of quest 6 over again, meaning you get 6000 xp but the fuel doesn't get transferred and this quest is left unresolved. Making use of the first bug makes the second irrelevant.
If you let Dave Handy move the fuel from the spaceship to the tanker, this drains the Hubologists' fuel reserves so that you can go to a Shi workstation and use it for another 6000 xp. This is of course possible only because of the workstation bug. Telling Badger to steal the Hubologists' fuel does not have this effect, since he actually doesn't.
Someone expressed interest in how to go about the fuel thing to maximize the xp count. Taking advantage of three glitches this would seem to be: First of all, give the Vertibird Plans to the Hubologists. Go to the Shi mainframe and route the fuel to the Hubologists (9000 xp). Go to Badger and tell him to get the fuel from the Hubologists for the tanker. Go to Dave Handy and pick the "made fun" option, then tell him to move fuel to the tanker (3000 xp) and be sure to get a copy of the plans. Go to the Shi and use a workstation to move fuel to the Hubologists (6000 xp), wait and return to Badger (6000 xp). Finally lower your IN using drugs and get another 5000 xp for fuel when you give the plans to the Brotherhood. In all, 29,000 xp. You could also include the stupid reward for quest 4 in this scheme, but that's on the dark path (and yet another glitch). If you don't want to cheat at all I suppose you'd only get 12,000 xp: 9000 from the Shi mainframe and 3000 from Handy.
Find Badger's girlfriend in the hold below the ship
Once you get the tanker fuel quest or a quest to steal the Vertibird Plans, you can ask Badger to hack the Shi or Hubologist computer for you, and he will give you this task. You don't need to get it in advance, though. Go into the hold by the manhole in Badger's room or the stairs in the back, kill the monsters and aliens (good, clean fun), and go talk to Suze in the northeast corner. Lead her to one of the two stairs and she'll disappear. When you've followed her up, talk to Badger and you get 5000 xp for your troubles. If Suze is discovered and killed by the monsters (or if you kill her), you get no xp, but Badger will still hack for you after you give him 3 hours to mourn. In any case he'll only perform one hacking job for you (takes him 3 days if Suze is dead, 1 day if she lives), then you won't be able to talk to him again.
If you let Badger hack the Shi computer, then the next time you visit the tanker after 1-3 days have passed (the timer starts when you leave and re-enter the tanker), you will see a cutscene in which he is executed by two Shi guards. No big deal since you have no further use for him, and if you have the quest to kill Badger you can now report back to the AHS-7. It all adds up. :)
You can liven up the cutscene by dropping explosives in front of the exit (if you want to hit the Shi guards) or halfway between the exit and the barrel (if you want to hit Badger as well). Enter the tanker when the execution is scheduled to happen and set the timer on one or more charges for 20 seconds before scrolling up to trigger the cutscene. Each of the Shi will drop a H&K G11E if they have time to draw them. This won't turn the rest of the Shi hostile, but hurting Badger will turn the punks against you. Depending on circumstances (NPCs, your trap-laying skills) the cutscene may still play to the end, but should Badger die before that, the Shi will remain and you won't return to visibility. In this state you cannot initiate combat nor be attacked (though you can still piss people off), and you can't trigger spatial scripts (mostly meaning you can't use elevators or set off floor traps). The only way to get visible again is to go to NCR and perform Westin's brahmin quest, assuming you still can.
The Dragon wants you to take out Lo Pan - hand to hand
Ask the Dragon who he is and whether he'd like to take you on (need Unarmed 125% for this), or challenge him to a test of skills (no skill requirement, oddly enough). You'll get to fight six of his men, one at a time, after which he'll give you this quest (8000 xp). Challenge Lo Pan to a fight, kill him (2000 xp if you didn't take his test, otherwise no xp, but he's a wimp), then return to the Dragon for 3000 more xp. Although the Dragon says you have to defeat Lo Pan in honourable combat, you still get the same reward if you kill him with Super Stimpaks.
If you attack "with armour and weapons" you'll have to fight the whole town. This goes for the next quest as well. If you lose a test fight, you can take the test again but must fight all six fighters from the beginning - including those you already killed. Both quests can be completed for the same xp (minus what you get for the tests) by challenging a fighter before getting the quest and then reporting back to the other. One rare exception is if Badger has been killed by the Shi, in which case the Dragon will brag about that instead of rewarding you for defeating Lo Pan.
There is an xp bug for both tests found by Sebastian Cassten: "When you've defeated your last opponent, save. When ending combat, start hitting A rapidly and you might end up in combat mode during the fade-out. Save in the blackness, then load and you'll find yourself in the ring. When leaving the ring you'll be rewarded for the test of skills twice."
Lo Pan wants you to take out the Dragon - hand to hand, if possible
Ask Lo Pan who he is and whether he'd like to take you on (need Unarmed 125% for this), or challenge him to a test of skills (no skill requirement). You'll get to fight six of his men, one at a time, after which he'll give you this quest (8000 xp). Challenge the Dragon to a fight and kill him (no xp), or kill him with Super Stimpaks or something, then return to Lo Pan for 3000 more xp.
Get Chip's spleen
Chip is the bald guy outside Badger's room in the tanker. Offer to get his spleen, then head to the Flying Dragon 8 and ask the shopkeeper about the spleen, turns out Dr Wong in the Shi palace has it. Go to Wong. Now you only get one chance to get this right, so when you ask about the spleen, either make the Silence of the Lambs reference or tell him it's a human spleen. If you just tell him Chip wants the spleen back you won't get it. Also he won't give it to you if you angered him previously with the "shoved a gun under your nose" line.
You get 2000 xp if you make Dr Wong promise to return the spleen. You still need someone to perform the operation, so go to Dr Fung in Chinatown. If you've met Doc Holliday in Broken Hills he'll do it for free (even if you haven't mentioned that in dialogue), otherwise he demands $1000. Next go tell Chip, wait one day until he returns to the tanker, whereupon you get 3000 more xp.
This is one of the few "timed" quests in the game: Chip will die of his spleenless condition five days after you first agree to help. If you run around town making the necessary preparations without going off on aimless excursions into the wasteland it shouldn't be a problem.
Killap: "Accept the quest to get Chip's spleen back. Tell him Dr Wong has it. Refuse to help put it back in, refuse again when Chip pleads for help, and then finally accept. Following this procedure will cause Chip to continue being mad at you for refusing (despite you finally accepting) and the dialogue option with Dr Fung will never appear."
Get some hardened power armor from Crockett
To be able to get this quest, you must have quest 6 or 10 active and you must not have moved any fuel yet. In the Steel Palace, in the room to the south with scientists in it, there's a scowling man named Dr Jing. Tell him you need fuel and he'll tell you to get him some Hardened Power Armor, which can be obtained from Crocket in the Hubologist base (you need to give him a suit of regular Power Armor as usual). If you have this quest active you can tell Crocket that Dr Jing will probably give him rocket fuel in exchange for the armour (even if you already got fuel for the Hubologists), and he'll upgrade a suit for free. When you return to Jing with the armour, you can ask for fuel for the tanker, fuel for the Hubologists, or $20,000. Whichever you choose you get 5000 xp for this quest.
If you deliver the armour to Jing in exchange for money or tanker fuel, every time you talk to Crocket afterwards he will whine about not getting any fuel (which means you don't get any more upgrades, even if you only got one so far), but nothing else happens. Life is hard. Note that this happens even if you never promised fuel to Crocket.
You can actually upgrade as many suits as you like before finishing this quest. This is because Crocket never complains about lack of chemicals as long as you say you're getting the armour on behalf of Dr Jing. Getting an upgrade will make the quest dialogue option disappear, but just return to Jing and "reactivate" the quest, then go to Crocket again and follow the quest dialogue for another suit (promising him yet more fuel). Keep going back and forth until you have all the upgrades you need.
Get the vertibird plans for the Brotherhood of Steel
Matthew outside the Brotherhood building can, unlike his colleagues in the Den and NCR, actually carry on a meaningful conversation. He'll put Navarro on your map and tell you to retrieve a set of Vertibird Plans. Do this (see Navarro) and you get 20,000 xp for your troubles as well as access to the Brotherhood bunker. What's more, Matthew lets you keep the original plans so that you can use them in some of the other quests above. Two days after this Matthew will disappear (even if he's standing right in front of you, and even if you already won the game), and you can get the computer to show you exactly why.
If your IN is less than 4 when you deliver the plans, the Brotherhood will fix the tanker so that it's ready to leave, which means you bypass the fuel, NavComp and Fob quests. You get the 5000 xp for getting the fuel as well, even if you already got it. (You can still get the xp for using the Tanker Fob and NavCom Parts if you want.)
The video sequence, just like the one in Vault 13, will have your NPCs visible in it. Since this one takes place on a dummy map you can't start a fight by dropping explosives, but that didn't stop Sebastian Cassten from once again killing Horrigan and the Enclave soldiers (see the V13 section for details): "I loaded my main character with set Plastic Explosives, triggered the video, and soon after the fighting began. Somewhat annoyingly, when the first explosion goes off you'll most likely be attacked by one of your followers. However, once combat ends and though your PC is invisible, he or she is still able to fulfil all the usual functions (besides attacking that is). Thus I would suggest that before the next blast goes off you should place your character in such a way that it only causes damage to your enemies. Also, when the killing is over you might have some time left to collect a few items. There's a Turbo Plasma Rifle on Matt's body and the containers in the southwestern room are filled with the same loot as in the actual BoS bunker. So there's your second suit of Brotherhood Armor which you'd always been looking for."
When you come here you're greeted by a robed guy named Chris who tries to shoo you away. If you accepted the quest from Matthew in San Francisco you can ask him about the Enclave and say you want to join. You get 1500 xp if you pull this off and get the password (you only get one chance). If you bring NPCs he'll complain about your "posse" and you'll have to pass a second Speech check. You can get him to mention both San Francisco and the Military Base, but he won't put any of them on your world map. There are also several dialogue options that lead to him attacking right away, or sounding the alarm then attacking, or leaving you alone. When you're done with him, ask him about vertibirds and mention the Brotherhood; you then get some 20 seconds to kill him before he sounds the alarm (500 xp), which shouldn't be a problem.
If you come in the car Chris will open dialogue at once. If you've already been here once that may result in a dialogue where your only choice is to attack and you risk putting the base on alert, so deal with Chris the first time you get here.
There are three ways you can enter the base. The easiest is to walk into the shack with the trapdoor in the floor (Chris will stop you if he's still alive), and you end up in the underground section. The second is to follow the stony path through the woods to the green exit grid and talk to the guards. If you don't have the password, or if you're not alone, they won't let you pass and attack if you talk to them too many times. You can of course storm the gates and shoot everyone, but this would be what is probably the toughest fight on the mainland and possibly in the whole game, what with those mean turrets.
You can have one NPC along with you and the guards still say you're alone; people you meet will act as if the NPC isn't there. This happens because most Navarro scripts assume that the car is included in the "NPC count", which it apparently isn't. Unlike Chris, though, they won't think you're not alone if you actually are. There is one crucial exception: the guard outside the commander's office will raise the alarm if anyone is with you except K-9 (you can use Sneak to avoid this), because his script was updated in the patch. Also note that if for some reason you didn't get the car from the Den, this bug will not happen.
Lastly, if you brought the Blue Pass Key from the Gecko power plant, you can enter by the air vent in the southwest corner of the gas station map and unlock the outer cell door. You'll get the 1500 xp for releasing the deathclaw (see quest 1), and Xarn will walk down the hall (even if you block the doorway) and disappear. If you talk to him he'll act as if he's still imprisoned, so this is probably not supposed to happen. Other than pre-empting the deathclaw quest this doesn't change anything. You can't open the next door from this direction.
In the underground section, loot the room to the northwest for a suit of Advanced Power Armor, a Blue Memory Module, a Plasma Rifle and stuff. You can talk to the quartermaster in any armour (even the Vault 13 suit) and he just tells you to go get suited up. In the computer room you can hack the computer with good Science, but if you fail the alarm goes off. Or you could ask one of the scientists and if you pass a Speech check he'll tell you the password, "Snookie", after which you can go mock the female guard outside (you can also enter this password after hearing about the nickname from Cookie). Asking the computer about the main base earns you quest 3.
With a few exceptions, people in the base won't talk to you if you're not wearing some kind of Power Armor. If you show up inside the base with any NPCs other than K-9 (that is, more than one), people will start attacking you.
The computer mentions that the Enclave main base is accessible by vertibird. Reportedly this was a quest which didn't get implemented (there are quite a few of those). On the other hand the guy in the comm center says the vertibirds are too complex for outsiders to handle. (Obviously he never met this kind of tribal before.)
On the ground level there are plasma turrets which can make fighting here troublesome. Quincy in the garage to the northeast has the Vertibird Plans in the locker behind him. There are two scientists around, one next door and one in the comm central to the south, who can tell you about the tanker and Vertibird Plans. If you asked any of them about the plans, you can tell Quincy a tech told you to get the plans and he'll let you have them (with very good Sneak you can just pick them up anyway). You get 3500 xp for taking the plans.
Taking the lift down from the comm central gets you to a room where nothing much is going on. Save before going to talk to the sergeant south of there. He's a blast! However, you should reload afterwards, because otherwise you'll have the sergeant patrolling the grounds endlessly and attacking if he finds you anywhere except beside the vertibird too many times. He'll also attack if you talk to him repeatedly without some kind of Power Armor on.
If you talk to Cookie the cook in the canteen you can get quest 3 and some info on what's going on, but it's nothing crucial. In the vertibird hangar you find Raul. If you told Quincy that Raul sent you for the plans, you can tell Raul that Quincy wants to see him, and he walks off to beat Quincy up. If you got the quest to fix K-9 you can tell him Dr Schreber sent you to get permission to take the K-9 Motivator from the locker directly behind him. If all else fails, Sneak.
If you do want to kill everyone, here are a few facts and pointers:
- As long as there are any turrets left on the ground level map, you won't be able to leave combat mode there. Annoying.
- Get the turrets first, and from a distance. They're not so tough to kill, but they do a lot of damage if you allow them to fire.
- Don't let your party spread out. The "stay where you are" combat option comes in handy. From the underground area you can take an elevator to the surface, kill off everyone in the surrounding area, go back down to heal your wounds if you need to, then proceed to the next lift, and so on. This is a whole lot easier than a frontal assault.
- You don't have to kill Cookie.
- If you shun ranged weapons this will be difficult, but by no means impossible. It's vital to keep your party together, so you may want to leave any reckless ones behind (Goris is impossible here). Sometimes you can sneak right up on the turrets, sometimes not; remember that smashing their sensors turns them into so much scrap metal. Try to lead people around corners and save a lot. This must be why you've been accumulating those insane amounts of Stimpaks and Super Stimpaks.
- Apart from Chris, you don't miss out on any quest xp by attacking from the start.
HtH characters can make the underground battle a whole lot easier by taking advantage of a scenery glitch. Once the battle starts, run to one of the vents facing south and stand in front of it (the edge of the hex should touch the wall). It doesn't work for all vents, but the one in the L-shaped corridor going to an elevator should do it, as well as the one in Xarn's room. You'll find the guards can't attack you with ranged weapons and instead just run up to you and stare stupidly. You can't attack them with ranged weapons, either (or even a Super Sledge), but you can hit them with unarmed attacks or mêlée weapons with range 1. The Hubologist base also has these vents, but this trick doesn't seem to work there.
Deal with the deathclaw
Talk to Dr Schreber in the soundproofed room and ask him about the deathclaw. Whether you offer to kill the deathclaw or not you can now get past the door to the cell. If you kill Xarn, you get 500 quest xp in addition to the 1200 kill xp. Instead you can offer to rescue him, in which case you must have the Blue Pass Key to open the door to the south (1500 xp). If you didn't bring the one from Gecko, there's one in Dr Schreber's desk. You don't have to kill Schreber for it (threaten him and he runs away, then end combat), but you should do that anyway for 1000 xp and 25 karma, and no one notices, the room being soundproof and all.
If you kill Dr Schreber before getting this quest, you can kill the guard with Super Stimpaks to pass the door without alerting the base, and then get the quest from Xarn. However, if the alarm is sounded you can team up with Xarn for 1500 xp. He'll stay with you until you go near the red exit grid on the gas station map, or until you open the cell door with the Blue Pass Key. If you then go to Vault 13 he won't be there and none of the deathclaws will mention his existence.
You can actually get every possible quest xp from Xarn by joining him for 1500 xp, then opening the door for 1500 xp, and then finally killing him as he's on his way out for 500 xp. Of course the base would have to be on alert, and this late in the game you get a lot more xp from random encounters anyway.
You get this quest when you ask Dr Schreber about the cyberdog, or from K-9 itself after you kill Schreber. Go get the K-9 Motivator from the vertibird hangar above ground and use it on the mutt to activate it (3500 xp, Science check needed). If you have karma -100 or higher and aren't a Childkiller it'll join you at once, even if you already have your maximum number of party members. You can walk around Navarro with K-9 without anyone reacting.
Retrieve the FOB from the base Commander
This pops up after you ask the computer about getting to the Enclave or talk to Cookie about it. If you ask the guy outside the commander's office who gets to come in, he'll mention the cleaning crew. You must walk out of his sight and wait one hour before you can tell him you've come to clean the office (with IN<4 you can get him to believe this right away though). You can now go in, but the commander won't let you open the locker with the Tanker Fob. Either Sneak-Lockpick the locker (Sneak 60% and high Lockpick needed), or use (a lot of) Super Stimpaks on the commander. There is an easier way, for which you must have got this quest first (and need good Speech): tell the guard you've come to fetch the Tanker Fob, and the commander will let you walk right in and take it. In any case you get 3500 xp for getting the Fob out of the room.
You get to the Enclave by taking the tanker from San Francisco, remember? After a freakin' beautiful cutscene you find yourself on the oil rig that is the Enclave. 15,000 xp are yours for this accomplishment. Exit the first map to the east and you find yourself in a foyer of sorts.
There's a computer terminal around which you need IN 6 to operate, or IN 4 plus Sneak above 70% (don't ask me why). First of all, see how much information you can get from it by logging on (Science 100% or LK 8) and downloading files to read in your Pipboy. With Science 125% you get a report on the reactor computer, telling of what would happen if anyone were to blow it up. Hmm. With Science 150% you can read about a madcap scheme to kill off most of the world's human and mutant population using the FEV virus. Except it's not so madcap because it seems they can pull it off. Lastly with Science 175% you can read a worthless speech draft and a worthless word list. Is that the kind of reward you get for boosting a skill to ridiculous levels?
Then there are two functions for which you need an item, the Presidential Access Key. Counter insurgence can only be used from this terminal and will be described later. Emergency defensive systems shutdown, which can only be used to any effect on the detention and reactor levels, will make the turrets on the current level snooze for 1-3 minutes. There isn't any major point to this since the turrets will never initiate combat anyway as a result of their level being on alert (seemingly due to some confusion in the scripting of the Enclave alarm system). It will keep the turrets from attacking you for other reasons (see below), but there is no stealth value in this since everyone else will anyway and it won't stop the turrets from firing on you once combat has started. A note of warning: if you try to activate the emergency systems shutdown without the Access Key and have Science 75% or more, the terminal you're using will be permanently deactivated, which is bad especially if it's the one in the foyer. Many of the computers and terminals in the Enclave will bring up the same menu, but they're not very important since you can't do the one truly useful thing from there.
You can reach the Access Key options no matter your Science skill, as long as you have the Intelligence to use the computer. If you don't get the option to log on, just choose "Help", "Yes" and "Back to log on" and you'll have the option to log on using the Presidential Access Key.
If your Science level is excessively high, around 200%, you won't cause the terminal to shut down if you try to hack it, but neither will you succeed in your attempt (because the script is incomplete), so you're stuck in dialogue with only one option which loops back to itself. In the rare event that this happens, press 0 (zero) to exit dialogue.
The turrets in the foyer won't attack unless fired upon, but once you move beyond the foyer, turrets and Enclave denizens will be less forgiving. You can only bring one NPC along without being attacked. You must be wearing some kind of Power Armor, but your NPC doesn't have to. Beware that some security bots are overzealous and will attack if you're not strictly alone. Unless you're going to fight everyone outright, or you desperately need a mule, you should leave your party members in the corridor to the east. Don't leave them on the first map you arrived on, because chances are you won't return there, and don't leave them in the alcove to the south of the foyer, because it will eventually be sealed off.
The reason why you can bring one NPC is actually the same bug as in Navarro. The security bots which attack you if you're not alone have been updated in the patch and know they don't have to make allowances for the car counting as an NPC. This also means that if you never got the car from the Den (fat chance) the bug won't happen.
If you're bringing your NPCs or if you're just going to kill everyone here anyway, some things to keep in mind:
- There's no such thing as a general alert status in the Enclave. For each new map you can choose whether to leave your path of violence or grab the good stuff then attack again. Citizens and scientists will never initiate combat, but may fight back if you're in combat mode already (or run away).
- You don't have to fight Curling, Murray or the President (see below), and you can talk to them as if nothing happened even if you fought on those levels. This means you can kill off everyone for xp and equipment and still get the xp of the sneaky/diplomatic path.
- Make use of bottlenecks. Critters that don't see a clear path to you won't move at all, buying you time. Dodge behind doorways and corners a lot. Make them come to you and pick them off as they arrive. Start a fight at the edge of the map, never at the centre.
- Since both you and your opponents will be heavily armoured, it's all about criticals here. You should either be using sniping weapons (Gauss Rifle, aimed shot to the eyes or something) or efficient big guns (Avenger or Vindicator Minigun, Bozar). Without the Sniper perk this will be awfully hard, but if you have it, you can clean the place out using a .44 Magnum and plenty of .44 Magnum JHP. With a good HtH weapon and Slayer you should be fine too as long as you avoid open spaces.
- Kill the soldiers with Gauss Rifles first; they're most likely to pierce your armour and score criticals. They're usually the ones wearing "old" power armour. Also look out for the ones with Vindicator Miniguns in the presidential area. Turrets usually won't hurt you - unless they score a critical hit bypassing your armour, in which case you're dead.
- Some of the robots (not the turrets) aren't on the same team as the soldiers as far as the game engine is concerned - these are the ones on the detention level and the two closest to the entrance in the barracks. This means you can ignore them until later, or even take them out first without anyone reacting. If a robot hits an Enclave soldier the soldiers will attack the robots, but when combat ends they will turn on you; this can also lead to the Elder being executed, so watch out.
- As in Navarro, prevent your party from spreading out or running to meet the opposition. This is not least because they'll happily attack some citizen while ignoring the turret next to them which will cut them down in two turns. Chances are they'll be in the way more than anything else, so set their combat options wisely, or just dump them and go solo. Goris will simply die if you bring him here.
In the barracks area to the east there's nothing to do except search the numerous boxes and lockers and lament the fact that you'll never be able to carry everything you find away from here (unless you're using the barter trick - see the NPC section). There's an Avenger Minigun and plenty of 2mm EC ammo among other things. Also there are a couple of packets of Plastic Explosives in the northeast corner of the map, and you might want to take one for later use. The blast doors to the emergency staircase cannot be opened at this time.
In the detention area below the foyer you can grab loadsastuff (MVP: Vindicator Minigun) and talk to the Elder and Martin Frobisher in the leftmost cells to either side of the prison corridor. They'll both tell you the same thing: get the G.E.C.K. from the level below if you don't have it, and destroy the reactor computer with explosives (Martin tells you to find it in the barracks if you don't have any).
You can actually kill most of the prisoners through the forcefields without any dire consequences. However, if you kill the Elder, you only have until midnight when Hakunin appears and the game ends, same as if you'd attacked the villagers in Arroyo. You can still finish the game before this happens and get the happy end. If you play on, trying to leave San Francisco to the world map will also end the game. One funny thing is that if you stand to the right of the Elder's cell and kill a villager, she'll run through the forcefield and flee down the corridor!
The two eyebots sport Robo Melee Weapons that you can get using the procedure described in the Toxic Caves section. These function as decent punching weapons that require no ammo and deal electrical damage, which is pretty sweet because you can run up to someone, punch them in the eye and then watch them vanish in a violet flash. Just like in real life! Rocketbots in the Enclave carry Avenger Miniguns and/or Robo Rocket Launchers. The two on the presidential level have ordinary Miniguns in addition to the Robo Rocket Launchers; in v1.0 these were not armed at all.
Below that level is the puzzle room. If it feels like you were just warped into an Eye of the Beholder-type game where you have to put rocks on the right pressure plates to open the door, that's about right. The floor in the square of nine rooms will give off electric charges now and then, damaging you for 2-10 HP (if you have your Advanced Power Armor on); when it does, your character will stop and you have to click on your destination again. Now don't try to open the doors manually or Lockpick them, you'll only take a lot of electrical damage. Instead use the computers to open and close the doors. I'll follow the tradition of presenting the maze like this (you enter from room 2):
If you have the G.E.C.K. already and just want the quickest path, use the computers in rooms 2, 3, 1, 7, 8 and 9, and the way will be clear (2, 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 is another way). If you need to visit the side rooms (or just want to), go 2, 1, 2, 3, 3, 8, 9 to open up all exits at the same time. The game is practically over, but you may still want to pick up the Adv. Power Armor MKII, the best armour in the game, from the room to the left. The soldiers in both rooms are unarmed, for some reason. If you want to get in there quickly, go 2, 1 and 4, and you'll then have access to both side areas. When you're done there, use 6, then go back to 2 and begin anew with the "quickest path" described above.
Once you get to room 9, you can use a Tool (you can steal one from a scientist in the barracks area; a Super Tool Kit won't work) on the loose wires to cut the electricity to the floor if you pass a Repair check. This means you get 1000 xp and won't take any more damage from the electrical shocks, in case you have unfinished business on any of the higher levels.
To move beyond room 10, you need to carry a G.E.C.K. Even if you didn't stop to speak to the Elder or Frobisher, your character will suggest there may be a G.E.C.K. around, and thanks to a cosmic coincidence there is, in the side room to the right. (Apparently they brought it from Vault 13 along with the prisoners.) If you like explosions, use the G.E.C.K. on the door instead of opening it in the normal way. You may take some damage, though.
If you have extremely high Traps and Lockpick values (say, 100% and 200% respectively), you can disable the electric fields on the doors and then pick them for 115 xp each time. This is not really recommended, though. The Lockpick penalty will drop for each door you open, but only if you're using the skill and not a lockpick item.
There's something more to the maze room than meets the eye. One of the terminals (selected randomly each game) actually contains an "Easter egg", which is found by using the Repair skill on it. If you pass a Science check and it's the right terminal, you'll get a reward, but only if you have tagged any of the skills listed below, and that skill is also at 100% or more. The skills are checked in the order given, and once one is found that qualifies, that's what you get whether you want it or not. You can only get one egg.
- Science: Opens all doors in the maze (using the terminals afterwards will open and close them as usual).
- Repair: Creates 1 Magic 8-Ball and restores electricity to the floor if you cut the wires so you can cut them again for 1000 xp (the floor doesn't actually start discharging unless you leave the map and come back).
- Gambling: Creates $2000-5000, 1 Loaded Dice and 1 Pack of Marked Cards.
- Outdoorsman: Creates 1 YK42B Pulse Rifle.
- Throwing: Creates 10-20 Plasma Grenade.
- First aid: Creates 1 Psycho, 1 Buffout, 1 First Aid Kit, 1 Mentats and 1 Stimpak.
- Doctor: Creates 2-4 Buffout, 1 Medical Supplies, 1 Poison, 2-4 Jet, 2-4 Super Stimpak, 2-4 Psycho, 1-2 Doctor's Bag and 2-4 Stimpak.
- Traps: Creates 2-4 Plastic Explosives, 2-4 Dynamite, 2-4 Electronic Lockpick MKII and 1 Motion Sensor.
- Speech: Creates 1 Alien Blaster.
Some skills are better than others, I suppose. (All my characters would get the Speech egg, except for the stupid one who'd probably get none at all.) In any case, you get 2500 xp for "living through the puzzle room" when you reach the next level. Should you want to go back this way, use the terminal in room 6 and the right doors will open (if you didn't open up the whole maze, that is).
In the presidential area you can talk to three people. Vice-president Bird is just crazy and spouts Dan Quayle quotes, or at least quotes attributed to Quayle. (Many quaylisms have later been re-attributed to George W Bush, which I suppose says something about how authentic you can expect them to be.) The President will give you background info, but what he says doesn't really affect anything. He's got quite a lot of dialogue, though, some of which you'll only see if you try to get out of conversation early, or if you threaten to kill him. And he is a talking head, so hear him out. (If you're stupid and talk to the President he'll always call for the guards, but this doesn't do anything.) What you need from him is the Presidential Access Key, which you must take from his corpse one way or another. Super Stimpaks will do and you should have lots and lots by now. My favourite is to save, Sneak and blast him away with one critical hit from the .44 Magnum. Blam! Splaff. Sorry.
Did I tell you about the time I took out half a squad of Enclave guards in the detention area in one round using the .44 Magnum, killing three with instant kill criticals, knocking one unconscious and wounding a fifth? Bwahahahahah.
Dr Curling in the northwestern corner of the map is something else entirely. When you talk to him about DNA, evolution, humanity and stuff you get plenty of chances to make a Speech check and thus awaken his (deeply) dormant conscience ("a big concept to swallow"). He'll release the FEV virus into the ventilation system, earning you 5000 xp and killing off most scientists and civilians in a few minutes (but not important ones like the President). This does not impose a time limit on you however (snoozing 10 minutes using the Pipboy to get rid of the scientists is harmless), and you, your NPCs and the prisoners will be protected from the effects of the virus. Dr Curling then tells you to go destroy the computer like the others did.
All three of these people will sound the alarm if you threaten to kill them too much (you need to threaten the President to see all of his dialogue, but don't push it). None of them will call the guards if you let them live even if they know who you are. Actually there's not so much loot on this level (only two books in Curling's room).
The stairs to the reactor level can be found north of the President's office. Down here you find the reactor computer, the one everyone's telling you to blow up, in the northeast room. Dropping a Dynamite next to any of the three consoles will do the trick. If the three scientists are still around you must wait until they give you space (or use the push command), since as usual critters will see it as an attack if you drop explosives near them. Also move away a little bit from the computer or you'll take some electrical damage following the explosion. Destroying the computer yields 10,000 xp.
Using the Yellow Reactor Keycard on the computer consoles does nothing, in case you're wondering. South of this room is a large inaccessible chamber with an elevator, a door entry computer and two important-looking terminals. Possibly the keycard - and the Red Reactor Keycard, which is in the database but not in the game - was supposed to be used there, but this was scrapped.
More loot in the lockers. You can talk to the scientist Tom Murray in the room to the southwest and ask him about the reactor. You can tell him to shut down the reactor and he'll do it (12,500 xp). This has the same effect as blowing up the reactor computer - but you can now go and do that as well, earning 10,000 xp more. Strangely enough, if you say you're going to kill him he screams for the guards, but unless you attack no one cares although there's a soldier right there in the room. If you released the FEV Murray won't die but you can't get into conversation with him, so having Murrary shut down the reactor is best from an xp point of view. As if it matters at this stage in the proceedings, as the saying goes.
Blowing up or shutting down the computer starts a 10-minute countdown. This is how much time you have - real time, as long as you're not in combat mode - to get off the oil rig. (Should you fail, at least you get to see the animation of the rig blowing up.) The blast doors by the stairs to the puzzle room from the presidental area will close (leaving the puzzle and detention areas inaccessible), and the door to the emergency stairs will open; taking them brings you to the barracks area.
You may read in a few walkthroughs that the emergency staircase won't always open when you disable the reactor and you must then fiddle with the computers in order to clear this route, or that they do open but you can use the computers to clear the way past the detention area instead. This is all incorrect, however. The state of the blast doors will always change when you start the reactor countdown, and only then.
Now for the finale. When you arrive on the foyer map after blowing up the reactor, there'll be soldiers standing about in the small room. They're Sergeant Rock - er, sorry, Granite and his men. They'll tell you that Frank Horrigan, the huge fellow you've met in the desert and possibly watched in a few video recordings, has taken position by the exit and won't let anyone leave. With very good Speech you can convince Granite that their only chance lies in helping you take out Horrigan (you may have to try a few times), and they'll then spill into the foyer (1500 xp). The doors to the detention area will be closed (see note above).
Frank Horrigan has a talking head, so you should save and walk up to him. Once you're done talking he attacks (if you have IN<4 he attacks right away), and the turrets with him. He'll shoot you with his End Boss Plasma Gun until it's out of ammo, then switch to his End Boss Knife, or if you're armed with an HtH weapon he usually goes for the knife right away (in rare cases he may just settle for kicking you). You'd have to be very tough and lucky (or well prepared) to survive this fight. Instead reload and walk along the bottom of the screen to the computer terminal. Now is the time to activate the counter insurgency measures using the Presidential Access Key. Once you do this the turrets initiate combat and attack Horrigan, so make sure you've recruited Granite's squad first. With both the soldiers and turrets on your side, you can stand aside and watch Horrigan get the shaft in just a few rounds, so a purely diplomatic character can do just fine here. By the way, the door to the dock cannot be opened until Horrigan is defeated.
If you activate counter insurgency without having enlisted Sgt. Granite, the troopers will come running to help Horrigan. This will happen if you activated the turrets before setting off the countdown, in which case the turrets open fire on Horrigan as soon as you enter the map. Once the turrets are gone the soldiers and Horrigan all turn on you. The soldiers will also attack you if you attack Horrigan on your own, and conversely if you attack them he'll come running.
If you let Horrigan initiate combat, the first door on the right will seal permanently shut. In this case Sgt. Granite's people and any NPCs that may have been shut in won't participate in the fight against Horrigan, but the NPCs will be with you when you get back to San Francisco. Here's a pretty odd thing you can do: Attack Horrigan without letting him talk to you, then run to the exit grid on the right and leave. When you return, Horrigan will initiate dialogue if he's nearby and the door will close. After you kill him, you can't get to the exit... but stepping on the exit grid to the barracks will mysteriously get you safely to the tanker and end the game.
In case your character is too dumb to access the terminal, or if you didn't get the Presidential Access Key, there's still a way to make this battle easier. It has to be done prior to disabling the reactor, though. You can take out the turrets by firing a few shots, then retreating through the door to the dock or behind the wall by the staircase. When you come back in again, the turrets won't be hostile, so shoot them some more. Repeat until they're all gone. Beating Horrigan in single combat with a good weapon like the Bozar shouldn't be at all impossible. Another reason to do this could be if you want to fight Horrigan "fairly", without the turrets helping either side.
Jacek Kominek points out that another way to take on Horrigan separately is to simply run back to where the turrets can't see you, in the corner above the blast doors. If the doors are open you can run away and end combat after defeating Horrigan, and the turrets won't attack when you return. Jacek also laments the ineffectiveness of mêlée weapons against Horrigan; the lack of good criticals means they can't measure up to the damage output of a good minigun. But then again, what can?
DrömmarnasStig relates a strategy: "After several aimed shots at the eyes with no effect I went for his legs. I crippled one leg and that won the fight for me. Once he runs out of ammo he changes to a mêlée weapon. From this moment forth I took one shot and used the rest of my AP for backing off, Horrigan never being able to reach me. From my brief experience I would highly recommend aimed shots at his legs (I took the Gauss Rifle for that job)." He'll be able to move just 3 hexes with a crippled leg.
Here's a bug/cheat similar to the vent bug in Navarro. Shoot Horrigan from a distance so he comes running towards you, then step behind the second door to the right and close it (Horrigan seems to be able to fire through the first one). When Horrigan runs into the doorway he'll stop and not attack. You'll then be able to hit him or shoot at him as much as you like with no return fire. This doesn't work if he's got his knife out.
Now's the time to whip out that Mutated Toe from earlier. Use it on Horrigan and... he loses 3 of his max HP. Hold me up, someone. This is exactly what happens if you use it on anyone else. And if you go to New Reno afterwards, the citizens still say "you really should have used the mutated toe on Horrigan".
Once Horrigan is "killed" (10,000 combat xp) you can talk to his head and torso for some final words. He says he activated the self-destruct mechanism and that you're going to die horribly (although this doesn't seem to do anything that the reactor meltdown wouldn't anyway), then his head pops. Shooting the still living head from a distance instead may confuse the message window (especially for aimed shots) but the result is the same. Or you could just open the door to the dock and the moment you step through you'll see the end animation. After that you'll be treated to various endings for the places you have visited during the game; see the following section for details. This also crosses out Arroyo quest 5, whether you have a G.E.C.K. or not.
After Horrigan is killed you may be able to get his weapons from his corpse, by killing one of the Enclave troopers (or an NPC) on the same hex and then using the selection arrows in the loot interface. If you click on Horrigan's body your character will run up and face the hex in question. The troopers cannot be pushed into position, but if you enter combat mode they'll come running toward you. Turning the violence level to minimal or none before killing Horrigan is necessary to make this work. Thanks to Sebastian Cassten for telling me about this.
If you inadvertently leave your party members behind when the oil rig blows, for instance if you had dropped them off on the dock, you can still save them by going to the bridge of the tanker, pressing "Go" (15,000 xp again) and returning to the rig (hmm!). If you've got time remaining on the countdown timer, you can re-recruit your NPCs and exit to San Francisco once again. It's good for a laugh anyway. Since the trips back and forth are instantaneous as far as the game timer is concerned, you may have a few minutes in which to keep doing this.
My maximum Rock count, without resorting to recurring random encounters (where they are sometimes plentiful), nor stealing (some kids and random townspeople carry lots), nor trading for them (Buster in NCR restocks them), nor digging up graves, is 111. That includes 19 from Klamath, 2 from the Den, 60 from Modoc, 2 from Redding, 5 from New Reno, 11 from San Francisco and 12 from special encounters (though you'd have to be lucky to get all of those).
To recap the stuff you can do after you beat the game: designer notes and xp computer in Vault City, Hintbook from Father Tully, dating Miss Kitty, movie at the Golden Globes, grav plates in the chop shop (maybe), and great new dialogue in New Reno and Vault City. Stupid characters cannot do the things in the VC vault, but they can hug Lynette instead. What to do after you get tired of roaming the wasteland for random encounters, or giving yourself unlimited xp using the Hintbook? Well, for a new experience you might want to try a different kind of game (I don't guarantee that all of these will be fun):
- Play a reckless HtH character if you didn't already, or a cold-blooded sniper if you didn't already.
- Play a game restricting yourself to using weapons you normally wouldn't (e.g. Sharpened Pole, Pipe Rifle, 9mm Mauser, Molotov Cocktail, Gold Nugget, Wrench, XL70E3, Flamer, Rocket Launcher).
- Play a character with Intelligence less than 4.
- Play a CH 1 loner with no NPCs if you didn't already, or a squad leader if you didn't already.
- Play a game where you go everywhere, do as much stuff as you can, finish as many quests as possible, loot everything that can be looted and kill everyone who should be killed, if you didn't already.
- Play a purely evil character, scorning every good quest or action, seeking to do active harm but without resorting to mindless butchery; or conversely, play a ridiculously innocent and noble character to whom stealth and deceit are unthinkable.
- Play a "pacifist" game, never attacking or killing sentient beings, avoiding any situation where there is no diplomatic or sneaky solution and running from battles whenever possible.
- Play a "role-playing" game, where you do and say only the things you figure a person realistically would have (tricky!).
- Play a character with some comic quirk, e.g. keeping every dog NPC in the game around, or with some tragic flaw, e.g. suffering from periodic memory loss.
- Play as a Jet junkie from the moment you first encounter the drug (or, less extremely, from the moment you can maintain a steady supply).
- Play a game with game difficulty set to hard and combat difficulty set to rough if you didn't already.
- Try to finish the game as quickly as you can, using any stupid shortcut technique that helps. (See the Addenda section for what is quite likely the quickest way.)
- Play an "iron man" game or impose other restrictions upon saving and loading, or hit yourself on the head with a hammer every time you die and have to reload.
- Some combination of the above.
Here's a list of possible endings shown in the end sequence. Some of them are a little screwed up due to mistakes in the script as well as missing features. To get an ending for a location it must be named on the world map, which means you must have either entered it or had someone put it on the map.
- Arroyo re-settled using G.E.C.K.: You always get this, even if you don't have any G.E.C.K. at this point (for instance, if you let both of them blow up with the Enclave).
- Modoc is razed after Slags are killed by the townspeople: Deliver the message, then offer to help and fail, or join the people of Modoc in an attack on the Slags.
- Modoc disperses after Slags are killed: Kill the Slags yourself, or deliver the message and immediately refuse to do any more.
- Modoc flourishes: Make peace between Modoc and the Slags.
- Modoc disperses due to drought: Don't deliver the message and don't kill the Slags.
There are two pictures for Modoc, one "apples" picture for ending 3, one "desert" picture for all the others.
- The Den disperses: Kill Metzger and Rebecca.
- The Den flourishes: Kill Metzger but not Rebecca.
- The Den becomes a haven for raiders: Don't kill Metzger, kill Big Jesus Mordino.
- The Den becomes a slaver central: Don't kill Metzger, don't kill Big Jesus Mordino.
There are two pictures for the Den: one "wall" picture for endings 1 and 3, one "sign" picture for endings 2 and 4.
- Population driven to NCR by radiation: Don't fix the power plant (blowing it up works too).
- VC independent, Westin and Lynette marry (!): Fix the power plant, kill the raiders, expose Bishop's plan and deliver the two holodisks but do not collect the final reward from Randal (bug), and don't kill Westin or Lynette (obviously).
- VC annexed by NCR: Fix the power plant, don't bring the Account Book or Bishop's Holodisk to Lynette.
- VC becomes part of NCR: Fix the power plant, kill the raiders and bring the Account Book or Bishop's Holodisk to Lynette. (You get this one if you fail to get ending 2 for any reason, e.g. killing Westin or picking up the reward.)
- Everyone dead: Kill all four bosses.
- Tribals arise: Impregnate either Bishop woman and leave her alive, and tell Mrs Bishop she should move on.
- Bishop child: Impregnate either Bishop woman and leave her alive, but do not tell Mrs Bishop to move on.
- Bishops rule: Leave the Bishop family in control (see below).
- Salvatores rule: Leave the Salvatore family in control.
- Mordinos rule: Leave the Mordino family in control, and don't get ending 7.
- Mordinos wane: Leave the Mordino family in control, deliver Jet to Dr Troy but do not return for the Jet Antidote (bug).
- Wrights seize power violently: Leave the Wright family in control, and enter the SAD.
- Wrights attack Mordinos and get slaughtered: Leave the Wright family in control, don't enter the SAD, take but do not finish the murder quest and don't attack the Wrights.
- Wrights rule fairly: Leave the Wright family in control, don't enter the SAD, and either finish the murder quest (in any way), turn the Wrights hostile (which sets the murder quest to finished), or do not take the murder quest at all.
There are two pictures here, one "sign with cobwebs" picture for ending 1, one "lit sign" picture for every other ending.
Every family in New Reno starts out with a "power counter" at 100 which will drop as a result of your actions as follows:
- Killing a boss: sets that family's power to 0 (well, technically to -1)
- Killing a bartender, casino bouncer, generic guard or unnamed adult Wright: -1
- Mordino: killing or recruiting Myron: +20 (bug), killing Little Jesus: -1
- Bishop: breaking the raiders' strength: -20
- Salvatore: disturbing the desert transaction: -20, killing Mason: -5
- Wright: breaking the stills: -20, killing Keith Wright: -2, killing Chris Wright: -1
The family which has the highest counter at the end of the game wins the power struggle; in case of a tie, the order of priority is: Mordino, Bishop, Salvatore, Wright. Usually this whole thing doesn't matter since you're killing the bosses of whatever families you don't like anyway.
Richard Wright's murder
- Murder solved: Solve the murder quest correctly.
- True murderer never found: Finger a suspect other than the Salvatores.
- Myron dead and forgotten: Hear Myron's name from Jules, Little Jesus, Renesco, Reed or Myron himself, and don't have him killed during the game.
- Gecko destroyed: Blow up the power plant.
- Gecko and Vault City form uneasy truce: Fix the power plant but don't get the Reactor Holodisk from Festus.
- Gecko invaded by Vault City: Fix and optimize the power plant.
There are two pictures for Gecko; both show the power plant, but for ending 3 the lights are on.
Note that you can fall between endings 2 and 3 and thus not get any ending for Gecko even though you fixed the plant. Rumours that ending 3 is triggered by giving the Gecko Holodisk to McClure and/or performing Stark's scouting mission around Gecko are incorrect. You always get it if you optimize the plant. The best ending for Gecko, which would require you to optimize the plant and get the Gecko Holodisk from Gordon after talking to the Brain, is impossible to get due to a silly bug in the endings script.
- Redding annexed by Vault City: Deliver the Jet antidote, leave and return to downtown Redding at least one day later, and don't kill Dr Johnson (even after the cure is administered).
- Redding in league with New Reno: Sell the chip to McGrew, don't get ending 1.
- Redding in league with NCR: Sell the chip to LeBarge, don't get ending 1.
- Redding deserted: Don't sell the chip, don't get ending 1.
Redding has two pictures showing different mining equipment, one for endings 1-2 and one for endings 3-4.
- Mutants dead, BH disperses: Kill the mutants in the mine.
- Uranium runs out, BH disperses: Get Marcus to put the mutant-haters in jail.
- Racial wars erupt, BH disperses: Do neither of the above.
New California Republic
- NCR established: Complete the deal between NCR and Vault 15.
- NCR expansion slowed: Don't complete the deal, don't kill Westin.
- Carlson rules corruptly: Don't complete the deal, kill Westin but not Carlson.
- NCR under military rule: Don't complete the deal, kill Westin and Carlson.
The NCR has two pictures, both showing the flag; for endings 2-3 the flag is in tatters.
- Vault 15 joins NCR: Complete the deal with NCR.
- Vault 15 deserted: Don't complete the deal.
Vault 15 has two pictures: for ending 1 it shows the "improved" V15 map as it looks in the game, while ending 2 has a proper picture of a shack in a barren desert (just like the place looked in Fallout, yay! None of that where-the-heck-did-that-come-from cliff wall stuff).
- Genocide: Either kill Gruthar, or return to Vault 13 after the massacre.
You can avoid this ending (and so get none for Vault 13) if you don't trigger the massacre or if you don't return afterwards, but if you get it the game will always blame you for killing the deathclaws. This is reminiscent of the Hub and Followers ending problems in the original Fallout.
- Population disperses after rampage: Turn the Shi hostile.
- Sentient plant problems: Kill Dr Wong without turning the Shi hostile.
- The Shi flourish: Don't turn the Shi hostile, don't kill Dr Wong.
There are three SF pictures, all showing the arch by the town entrance; for ending 1 it's got cobwebs on it, for ending 2 it has lots of green vines (evil plant, brr), and for ending 3 it's festooned with lamps and vines.
Those Shi sure are sensitive. If you do everything normally in SF, then position yourself outside the tanker, toss a Plant Spike on one of the dockworkers and hurt him for 1 HP before ducking into the tanker and sailing off for the Enclave, you'll get the "demoralized and leaderless after your rampage" ending. I mean, it was a Plant Spike, get over it.
- Vagrants move on: You always get this (even if you kill them).
You'll notice the wasteland is full of critters and creeps who want your hide. When you run into an encounter on the world map, there's an Outdoorsman check to see if you may choose to avoid it. You end an encounter by running to the edge of the map, or, if you have the car, using it (even in the middle of combat). Running off the map will put you in the car if you have it.
It seems that your effective Outdoorsman skill (chance of success before negative modifiers are applied) cannot exceed 95%, meaning there's no point in raising the skill beyond that, or carrying a Motion Sensor if you're already at that skill level.
The xp you gain from successful use of the Outdoorsman skill is equal to 100 plus the difficulty of the check (from 0 to 70 based on encounter zone, not encounter type) minus your skill level (capped at 95). If you're in the car you don't always get any xp, indicating it gives you an added independent chance (seemingly 50%) of avoiding encounters.
Here's a list of beings you may stumble upon. This division of areas is very imprecise and they overlap vastly. Critters may appear in areas below the one where they are listed; especially mantis, wolves and radscorpions appear pretty much all over the map.
Northwest (Arroyo): scorpions, radscorpions, outcasts, fishermen (coast only), war party, hunting party, cannibals, wilders, hermit, rats, pig rats, nomads, silver geckos, holy people, ants, spore plants.
North (Klamath, Den, Modoc): highwaymen, golden geckos, mole rats, wild brahmin, slavers (and slaves), trappers, Den caravan, Vault City caravan, merchant and guards, farmers, homeless people, bandits, moonshiners, mantis, rave party, robbers.
Northeast (Vault City, Gecko): merchant party, wild dogs, ghoul crazies, patrol unit, mutated rats, mutated mole rats, mutated pig rats, ghoul scavengers, caravan.
East (Broken Hills, NCR): marauders, raiders, Rangers, caravan, Unity patrol, rogues.
Central (Redding, New Reno): yakuza, mobsters, gang, traveler, fire geckos, claim jumpers, homesteaders, prospectors, bootleggers, Redding caravan, wolves, New Reno caravan.
South (Military Base, Vault 13): remnants of the Master's army, deathclaws, NCR Rangers, caravan.
Southwest (Navarro, SF): floaters, centaurs, Enclave patrol, Hubologists, press gang, aliens, caravan, mercenaries.
Some encounters come in the form of "X fending off Y", where X and Y are groups you would find in that area. In these cases, if you move out of the way you won't be attacked until they're finished with each other. Note that if you go into a cave and then come out again while this is going on, they'll forget that they were fighting, and normally hostile groups will then turn on you. In other encounters different groups work together, such as "raiders searching with wild dogs", "robbers and highwaymen" or "radscorpions hiding among spore plants". In some encounters where there are two separate groups (e.g. "aliens and deathclaws") you'll start out fighting one group, while the other will be idle and not react to your presence until combat ends (or you attack them). This will allow you to leave the map or position yourself before fighting the other group.
Merchants may trade with you depending on the sign of your karma (some will dismiss you for being a do-gooder, others for being a meanie). Inventory depends on location: New Reno merchants will have lots of drugs, for example, and VC merchants will have lots of healing items. One caravan in the NCR-Vault 13 area is a good source of Scout Handbooks. Another in the SF area has a 10% chance of carrying the rare XL70E3 each time you meet them. Some other critters can be traded with as well (e.g. fishermen, hermits, farmers), though they have nothing of value. (There is actually 1 chance in 100 that a fisherman will carry a Laser Pistol; they'll offer to sell it for $10,000, which is of course much more than it's worth.)
In the homeless people and farmers encounters there may be a critter that is using the male, bald "yellow pyjamas" model, but which counts as a child (you can tell from his floating dialogue), and killing him makes you a Childkiller.
If you meet trappers, you can pimp Miria or Davin once to each trapper (regardless of gender) for one Gecko Pelt and one Golden Gecko Pelt if you don't have enough money to pay for them (drop your money first). If you're not married you can sleep with the trapper yourself, but you'll get poisoned. If you have IN<4, each trapper you talk to will give you a Gecko Pelt. Stochastic adds: "When in dialogue with the trappers, if you have enough money to purchase a normal Gecko Pelt, but not enough to buy a Golden Gecko Pelt, you can purchase the golden pelts for free! This only works for the in-dialogue trading, not the formal barter interface."
The rave party encounter found around the Den is extra rare because it happens only during certain hours (7 p.m. to midnight). You can actually get infinite chems in this encounter. There will be one or two people selling booze and a few others running around who sell Mentats, Buffout and Psycho. When you pay for a chem, your money goes into their inventory and they try to walk up to you and use a newly created chem dose on you. If you move away the chem will be left on the ground instead for you to pick up. When you're done, kill the partiers or just steal the money. You can also have sex with the partiers if you like. To do this you must first use a skill on them (Steal, First Aid or Doctor); this will give you an extra line of dialogue. Just ask them until they agree, and gender is not an object.
The number of critters in an encounter depends to some extent on the size of your own party. For instance, Enclave patrols will usually consist of three soldiers if you have a party of 1-3 people, but can come in squads of seven if you have a full group. Volcano draws some evil conclusions: "I have found a use for all of the useless NPCs. When I am trying to level up and acquire loot by fighting Enclave patrols, I prefer to leave my good NPCs behind. Otherwise, they end up taking a lot of damage, and take a lot of time or Stimpaks to heal up again. The problem is, when you are alone you find almost exclusively three-man patrols. Taking along a disposable NPC lets you encounter more big patrols."
The best place to level up late in the game is the strip of desert between San Francisco and New Reno. Good xp encounters include tough aliens, deathclaws, floaters and centaurs (particularly the last ones are easy), but avoid those pesky fire geckos.
If your karma drops really low (-501, although the wanted posters will appear at -500) or if you count as a Childkiller, you'll sometimes run into bounty hunters. The minimum number in a group is two, and the maximum number is four, plus one if they're after you for killing kids, plus one if you're level 19 or more. Their toughness and equipment will depend on your level (with variations within each group):
- 1-6: Leather jacket, Hunting Rifle, Desert Eagle.
- 7-12: Leather armour, Assault Rifle, Super Sledge, Sniper Rifle.
- 13-18: Combat armour, Laser Rifle, Frag Grenades, Power Fist.
- 19-99: Power armour, Gauss Rifle, Plasma Grenades, Avenger Minigun.
Needless to say this can be a pain, as especially the later encounters are much more dangerous than the xp reward warrants. You get -10 karma for each bounty hunter you kill, so that would seem like something of a downward spiral. If you're only wanted because of your karma you can make the wanted posters disappear by climbing above -501 again.
And now for some overly detailed data on... the Mysterious Stranger! If you for some reason got this perk, the chance that he or she will show up in an encounter is equal to 30+LK*2 out of 100. Their HP and armour state (though they will always have the leather jacket look) depend on your level as follows:
- 9-14: 50 HP, leather armour.
- 15-18: 70 HP, combat leather jacket.
- 19-22: 90 HP, metal armour mk II.
- 23-26: 110 HP, combat armour mk II.
- 27-99: 130 HP, power armour.
The female 9-14 variety has 2 HP more than the male, i.e. 52 (ooh). Their weapon changes as follows (in each encounter they will have one of the weapons listed):
- 9-13: Hunting Rifle, FN FAL.
- 14-19: Assault Rifle, Combat Shotgun.
- 20-26: Laser Rifle, H&K CAWS.
- 27-99: H&K G11.
The Mysterious Stranger can be exploited for infinite ammo. Whenever you enter an empty spot on the world map there's a chance that the stranger is standing nearby. Use Steal to get some ammo and Stimpaks. If you get caught, nothing happens. After you steal their stuff, enter combat and spend a round just running around. When combat ends they'll start moving away, but if you quickly save then load the game they'll stop. Steal again - new ammo. If they manage to get away you can just leave the map and repeat the whole thing. Also, on some random maps after combat is over the stranger doesn't quite get off the map when running away from you afterwards (works on some mountain maps), meaning if you position yourself correctly you can steal and enter combat repeatedly without having to worry about them getting away. You can get plenty of Micro Fusion Cell or 4.7mm Caseless ammo doing this. Finally there's a comparatively minor bug: a stranger carrying a Hunting Rifle will have Shotgun Shells, not .223 FMJ.
In many mountain encounters you'll find a cave opening which you can go through. (There's also one treeless map with a cave opening but no actual cave.) Most often you'll find varying quantities of radscorpions, mole rats, geckos or deathclaws, which are generally not worth taking on, but once in a great while you may come across a cave full of human robbers (the chance is 1 in 13 for each cave, plus you must also pass a Luck check; if you find a completely empty cave you'll know you failed the check). These come in different varieties depending on your level:
- 1-5: Leather armour (jacket look), 10mm Pistol, 10mm SMG, Spear.
- 6-10: Leather armour, Scoped Hunting Rifle, Desert Eagle, Plated Boxing Gloves (!).
- 11-14: Combat armour, Power Fist, Super Cattle Prod, .223 Pistol, HK P90c.
- 15-99: Combat armour, Pulse Rifle, FN FAL, H&K G11E, Turbo Plasma Rifle.
Many of them carry a lot of ammo. Very worthwhile and not too difficult if you bring friends. Each such cave also comes with three chests full of money and more loot like Stimpaks and grenades; if you're lucky you can find a Super Sledge from level 6, a Power Fist from level 8 or a Plasma Rifle from level 11.
Apart from general random encounters, there are also special, one-time encounters which often have some kind of humourous twist. It's not exactly known how it's decided how often you get them; Luck, Perception and Outdoorsman are the usual suspects (used to be LK in Fallout, so it's a pretty good bet). Game difficulty also seems to affect this; it'll take significantly longer to find all encounters if you play on hard. There are two kinds of special encounter: those that leave a permanent location on your world map, and those that don't. The first kind will bring up a green circle which is marked "Unknown" at first, the second will just flash a red circle and leave no mark on your world map (so don't drop any items there). The latter kind is identified with the word "red" in the list below.
If you decline to enter a special encounter when you first find it, you may come across it again (because the encounter is only flagged as found when you enter the map), but it will have to be in another encounter zone (because the encounter script has a memory of its own). This is also true for encounters with map locations; these will remain on the map marked "Unknown" after you first get them, and are relocated when you run into the encounter again somewhere else. The Cafe is the only one that moves around even when it's been identified, because of a bug.
For each special encounter there's a minimum level to get it, also given in parentheses below. What special encounters you find will depend on the terrain you're in: all special encounters occur in desert areas except for the Bridge which is a mountain encounter, while coast and city areas have no special encounters at all. The Bridge also has the highest relative probability of popping up, so it's usually your first one in any game.
There's another way in which special encounters distinguish themselves, namely by being "good" or "bad". It does seem, however, that the game itself makes no such distinction, so that perks that raise the probability of finding special encounters will reap you unpleasant ones as well as the beneficial kind. In any case you will find all special encounters regardless of your stats if you just keep playing long enough.
There are a few encounters where the map will reset every time you enter it, so dropped items will be lost. These are the Guardian Portal and all three "bad" encounters. They also share the feature that when you leave the area for the first time it remains labelled "Unknown". To make its proper name appear on the world map, simply enter and exit the encounter again (I wouldn't do this for the Toxic waste dump, though!).