The main thing you will find in FO1 is there is less of everything. Of course, it should come as no surprise that the first game in the series would be smaller than the sequel. Less equipment choices, less quests, a smaller world map, less perks, less NPC control (but also less bugs). Having cut your teeth on FO2, you may sometimes feel a little restricted in FO1. Still, the gameplay and story are just as strong, and except for a few control (interface) issues that were improved for FO2, you are going to love FO1 just as much. One aspect in which FO1 is not smaller than FO2 is in it's overall level of kickass-ness.
It began with the making of a very thorough Fallout 2 guide, and though I hadn't intended it from the start, I realized towards the end that I would be doing the same thing with Fallout. Although I did finish the latter game first, it was the sequel that captured my heart and prompted all this guide-writing. For this reason my perspective on Fallout in this guide will most often be that the sequel sets the standard and whatever is different in the original is the anomaly. This may be a little odd to veterans who lived a year or so with Fallout before the sequel was released, but that's the way it is for many players today, and in any case the popularity of Fallout 2 today far outstrips that of its predecessor.
At first I wasn't sure if this new undertaking would add as much to existing walkthroughs (the game having been out a bit longer than the sequel, though probably not significantly so any more), but I soon found that I would in fact be able to add another layer of research and detail to what was already written down. Sure enough there were guides encouraging people to tag Gambling and Barter, guides lacking substantial information about most anything, and guides written by self-styled experts containing vague, over-obvious or incorrect "expert" hints. (In fact I didn't find any guide that didn't contain various incorrect statements, many of which have obviously been passed on or even ripped verbatim from one walkthrough to another.)
I would recommend Steve Metzler's Steve's Guide to Fallout for being clear and well written (though lacking in detail); Chris Smith's Fallout FAQ for being nice and written as far back as 1997 (though as the title suggests it's not a walkthrough); and Omkar Namjoshi's Fallout Game Guide for being ambitious almost to the point of being a second manual (though it has a high redundancy factor). Thanks to the No Mutants Allowed administration and visitors for past and future help and for hosting the guides.
I've been playing the English v1.2 (UK) version of the game, using the Falche 1.20 character editor for experimentation and adding children with Skynet's Fallout 1 Children Patch. I've made good use of the script decompiler by TeamX and the Fallout 1 DAT-file extractor v1.2, and even better use of the script decompiler by Noid. I don't think there should be any significant difference from the US version except for the children thing.
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. Of course you will anyway if you want to, so I don't know why I'm writing this. :)
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.
Comments and additional information have been colour-coded in the following imaginative manner:
A green star marks straightforward, reliable information or advice.
A yellow star signals some measure of uncertainty or speculation, but information given can be expected to be correct in broad terms.
A red star is used for highly speculative information as well as massively peripheral or trivial comments.
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.
"It's always patch you up! Fix you up! Asshole!"
The first thing you should do is make sure that your asshole... err, I mean your game is patched. If you have the European version this is easy, you'll already have version 1.2. If you live in the US or for some other reason own an old US version, you should download the patch to v1.1 if the game on your cd is v1.0. There shouldn't be a need to patch recent budget releases. What the patch does is fix several potentially game-ruining bugs and remove one of the time limits in the game. In the walkthrough I'll assume your game is patched and refer to pre-patch oddities as some kind of ancient (and slightly dubious) history.
If you have v1.2 you won't have any children in your game. To rectify this, get hold of the children patch containing the US executable and the animation frames missing from the non-US versions. (Note that this won't make children appear on already visited maps in existing games, though.) Playing without children doesn't hurt the game as much as in Fallout 2, as there are no (working) quests involving children. A great boo hoo goes to Interplay for removing the children in the first place. Now, if one or two European countries disallow the appearance of children in a game where the player can take a rocket launcher to anyone he or she meets, why not make a low violence version and target those countries specifically, letting everyone else play the proper game?
At least my UK version doesn't have any violence restrictions, but all blood and violent animations were removed from the localized German edition. There are at least two unofficial gore patches (some 30 MB or more in size) which add these back in, though. Refer to them for details of content and application.
Locutus adds: "I have a 1.2 US version that was added to a game magazine and does not have the 'Maybe' song in the intro, it just plays the Glow music. Everything else is like in the normal US version."
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 "craving". The reason why is anyone's guess, but if you've been wondering where I got this "chem" word from, that's the explanation.
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-shady"), 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!
Once you've started the game I'd change the following default settings: combat speed, which I always turn up to max (check the box as well), target highlight to "on" (helps you see what's happening to critters behind walls), and running to "always". While working on the guide I had difficulty set to normal, but any future games will be played on hard (both game and combat difficulty), which unfortunately doesn't present that much more of a challenge.
If you hold down Shift and press the credits button on the starting screen, you'll get to read a quote file from the developers. Mature stuff!
If you type the word "boom" while the credits are running you'll be treated to an animation of Tim Cain's head blowing up.
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 Max Stone), 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. You can use this feature to view a few unused (and uninteresting) maps, like the ruined Brotherhood bunker entrance and the Viper camp. See the Area walkthrough section for a way to exploit this in the game.
"Many of yours. Some useful, but too many twists."
I'll be going through stats, traits, skills and stuff, making harsh and dictatorlike judgements, and then follow up with a few resulting characters. To start off with, your age doesn't matter; it's not checked in any of the scripts. Gender will have a small but insignificant effect on some dialogues. Male characters can sleep with Sinthia (for a price) and maybe with Keri (for a minor benefit). They may also be taken for Death Hand in the raider camp, which is not necessarily an advantage. If you are female then getting the systolic motivator from Michael will be easier if you have CH>5 but harder if you have CH<5. You may have been meant to be able to pull a surprise attack on Harry with a female character, but all this does is initiate combat. A funny detail is that the Vault 13 security officer is always of the opposite gender to the player character.
Don't use any of the pre-defined characters, they all have flaws (e.g. Max Stone has Bruiser, Natalia has Night Person and Albert has Skilled as well as Barter). One of the nicest things about most computer RPGs is creating your own character or characters, anyway; even if I wanted a "Max Stone" character, I'd make one instead of taking Max Stone.
When allotting char points there are some things to keep in mind:
Strength: Useful for carrying stuff and using weapons properly. Start out with at least 5, but ST can be increased by 4 points during the game so more than 6 is probably overdoing it.
Perception: Good for ranged weapons, but not crucial. You should start with at least 5 for the Awareness perk.
Endurance: Determines Hit Points and not much else. Unless you like close combat a little too much I wouldn't put more than 4.
Charisma: Not so useful, unfortunately. Affects bartering both directly and indirectly, but does not limit your number of NPC followers. A CH of 1 is perfectly viable.
Intelligence: Unless you plan to rely on brute force for everything, this is likely your most important statistic since it rules conversation and determines skill points per level. 7 is a good starting value.
Agility: Determines your Action Points, so you probably don't want less than 6, and starting with anything up to 10 doesn't hurt.
Luck: A high LK is good if you plan on getting Sniper, or special encounters. If you don't care about critical hits you won't suffer much from a low Luck score, otherwise don't start with less than 5 (or you won't get Better Criticals).
Stats can never be effectively raised above 10. Every stat can be raised by 1 permanently during the game (except ST which goes up by 4), so starting with 10 in any stat is a bit of a waste. IN and LK can be raised by 2 permanently instead of 1 by taking advantage of scripting glitches, so if you're not above that you shouldn't begin with more than 8 in those.
EN and AG 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 you can increase these stats by one, which is why you may want to start with, say, AG 9 and not 8 or 10.
The Fallout manual says you get EN/3 extra HP per level; the Fallout 2 manual says you get EN/3+3. They're both wrong: the correct amount is EN/2+2 (rounded down). Interestingly enough this is in the patch notes of both games.
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.
A Strength of 5 is enough to handle all small guns. A ST of 7 is sufficient to wield all big guns and energy weapons, and in fact ST 6 is enough for everything but the Minigun. Once you get the Powered Armor you don't have to worry about this.
Small Frame: If you plan on keeping at least one NPC around, this essentially has no downside. Even if you're going solo it's not so bad since you don't really need to carry much junk around.
One Hander: Many of the best weapons in the game are two-handed, but it's good for kung fu characters since the bonus applies for Unarmed-class weaponry, none of which is two-handed (your basic hands-and-feet attack is unaffected).
Finesse: Decent trade-off.
Fast Shot: A personal favourite, because I like firing a Turbo Plasma Rifle five times during a round. Also goes well with big guns and burst weapons, obviously. Don't take this if you're a hard-core sniper though. If you get Sniper or Slayer, it rocks. Note the difference from Fallout 2 that it benefits HtH combat as well as ranged.
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.
If you raise your stats 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 in the fact that you can't lower the raised skills below certain values, but that should never be a problem).
Potentially useful but not overly worthwhile traits:
Heavy Handed: Some extra damage early on for HtH characters, but not so good in the long run if you plan on getting Better Criticals and Slayer.
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: Decent if you only plan on using one combat skill (i.e. Small Guns), or, obviously, if you don't plan on using any combat skills. Otherwise you might as well choose something else. Bad in a stupid game.
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 for an HtH character.
Kamikaze: Trade away protection for Sequence which matters only during the first combat round? No thanks.
Bloody Mess: Could be fun to begin with, 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.
Night Person: This is very bad considering how many people will only talk to you during daytime. Could be used in a stupid game, but I wouldn't bother.
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: A convenience if you're playing a chem user, but even so it's little more than that (you don't have to reload as often).
Skilled is bugged in the way that you don't get the extra 5 skill points per level you're supposed to get. If you want to simulate this effect you could give yourself 2-3 levels of the Educated perk using a character editor.
Although Bloody Mess does have one beneficial function at the end of the game for good characters, that effect can be achieved by other means.
Recommended skills to tag (unless you're going for a stupid game):
Small Guns: Your primary combat skill for most of the game. Can be used all the way to the end.
Lockpick: There are many locked containers and doors and you'll want to open them with a minimum of fuss. Getting it to 70-80% may be enough if you use Lock Picks, or raise it to 100% just for the convenience.
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.
Tag these 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. Eventually you'll want one combat skill at, say, 150%. Unless that one is Small Guns, choose one of the following according to preference (one of these would probably be a tag skill instead of Speech in a stupid game):
Energy Weapons: The best combat skill during the final stages of the game.
Unarmed: Some prefer this to Melee Weapons (mostly because the Power Fist doesn't have knockback).
Melee Weapons: Neat once you get the Super Sledge, limited use early on.
Skills you need not spend points on:
Big Guns: Only used late in the game, and not as effective as you'd think, either.
Throwing: Rocks and grenades simply don't play a huge role in the world of Fallout.
First Aid: Since it starts out higher than Doctor you'll probably be using this some at the beginning of the game. Once you get to the Hub you can raise it to 91% using books and you don't need more.
Doctor: Pretty marginal. You can fix a broken limb at a very low skill level, and other than that you're fine with First Aid, Stimpaks and natural healing.
Sneak: Not overly useful, and it doesn't work in many of the situations where it would have been good.
Steal: You don't need to steal stuff for the trade value, stealing ammo and chems before combat is lame, and there aren't many other uses.
Traps: There aren't that many traps in the game, actually, and they're not likely to kill you. You can raise it a little for convenience, but you don't really need to.
Science: Can be raised with books to 91% once you reach the Hub. You don't need more.
Repair: See Science.
Barter: You don't have to trade much, and CH is more important for that anyway.
Gambling: You don't need to get money by gambling.
Outdoorsman: See Science.
Your number of available skill points are capped at 99 when you level up. You can have more than 99 points stored (e.g. after getting a skill point perk), but only until you level up next time.
You can turn down the difficulty level to raise your non-combat skills temporarily for a specific action.
Many players actually favour the Sneak skill as in some situations it will let you kill people without anyone noticing, which is useful in assassinations (but this doesn't always work), or sneak up to them before applying HtH pain. Unfortunately many proximity scripts and similar don't bother to check whether you're sneaking or not. It doesn't help when stealing from Killian's tables, for instance.
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. This amount doesn't seem to be capped by your Steal skill level.
In most shops you can't use Steal on the shopkeeper because the wares are kept in an on- or offscreen container when you're not talking to the shopkeeper (Mrs Stapleton is one exception, though she normally keeps her books away). In the case of Beth, Mitch and Jake in the Hub, the stuff will appear on the body of the shopkeeper if you kill them.
You can plant items on people using Steal. You can use this feature to give equipment to your NPCs, to kill people with explosives, and in one quest.
As a rule, it's not worth it to raise most skills above 100%. 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). Even if you raise Sneak and Steal to their maximum values you'll still get caught a lot, suggesting your chance of success is capped at 95% before negative modifiers are applied (in fact, testing shows no significant difference between Steal 30% and Steal 200% under pretty normal circumstances). Note however that it doesn't cost more skill points to raise a skill at high skill levels.
The three top perks:
Awareness: Extremely useful. This should be your first perk.
Bonus HtH Attacks: Wonderful for brawlers.
Bonus Rate of Fire: In conjunction with Fast Shot this is so good. Well, it's good regardless.
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 (it took me several games to realize this!), but this does not work with perks that have a Luck requirement, for instance. Check out the chems in the Items section for details. This is made easier by the fact that unlike in Fallout 2 you can reap the effects of any number of doses at once. Also remember you must spend each perk before earning a new one.
Recommended perks (number of ranks in parentheses):
Action Boy (3): Good for most characters. Depends on your current Action Points and what weapons you plan to use.
Better Criticals: Yummy.
Bonus Move (3): Replaces Action Boy for HtH characters, and arguably pretty useful for anyone.
More Criticals (3): 5% isn't that much (10% would have been good). Still, better than in Fallout 2 since you'll never get Sniper.
Slayer: The ultimate HtH perk (and unlike Sniper you don't need to make a LK roll). But, you probably won't get it in a normal game.
Sniper:The sniper perk. The problem is you'll only get to use it at the very end of the game if at all.
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."
The Bonus Move perk is bugged so that if you save and load the game in combat, your extra movement AP will be available for use again, allowing you to move any distance in a single round. On the other side of the coin, if you run out of "normal" AP your turn ends whether or not you have extra movement AP left.
Possibly useful but not crucial perks:
Dodger (2): Protection is good.
Quick Pockets (3): Like a restricted Action Boy available on level 3. In fact I think this version is more balanced than the one in Fallout 2.
Tag!: Can be used on Energy Weapons late in the game for lots of skill points.
Toughness (3): Protection is good (but spending char points on Endurance is not, so take Buffout if you want this).
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, plus 20%. The trick is that before leaving the character screen you can lower the skill to its previous level (but not below 20% plus your base value), and then spend the points elsewhere. Effectively this perk can give you an amount of generic skill points equal to 20 plus the highest amount you've gained in a non-tagged skill, which makes it far superior to every other skill point perk. No big deal, since I don't care much for skill points late in the game anyway.
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.
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 only adds to the maximum damage - that's only one point on average for each perk slot!
Bonus Ranged Damage (2): Not nearly enough of a bonus unless you're using a Minigun.
Explorer: Improves your chances of finding special encounters, which is good at low LK but seems a bit vague. Could have been OK at level 6.
Lifegiver (2): Once you reach level 12 your maximum number of Hit Points won't be so important any more, and there aren't too many levels to go anyway.
Pickpocket: Neat for thief characters, I suppose. But if you fail at stealing, won't you just quickload?
Silent Death: Guess which one of this and Slayer you should choose at level 18. Then after eventually reaching level 21, you'd want to put skill points in Sneak to make one of your attacks do double damage? I laugh hard!
Silent Running: If you must play a sneaking character I suppose this takes a lot of frustration out of playing, but doesn't it spoil the atmosphere? A convenience perk.
Smooth Talker (3): The closest thing to Gain Intelligence in this game, but I'd start with a good IN instead.
Strong Back (3): Carrying more stuff can't be wrong, but spending perks to do it is. Especially if you have an NPC.
The Lifegiver perk gives you 4 extra HP for each new level in addition to the 4 HP you get just for taking the perk (the manual forgets to say this, but it's in the patch notes).
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).
Useless perks which should only be chosen if you have no other options (or really want to):
Animal Friend: Well, how useful is this.
Cult of Personality, Presence (3): The potential benefits of these perks are frighteningly small.
Earlier Sequence (3): Not worth it.
Educated (3), Master Thief, Medic, Mr. Fixit, Speaker: All these perks give you nothing but skill points. You don't need more skill points. You need perks. As for Educated, if you get it at level 6 and then level up ten times, you've gained 20 skill points. Over time. Some guide writers recommend it.
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 (3): Healing rate is never an issue.
Flower Child: Convenient for a chem character. But using chems sucks.
Fortune Finder, Master Trader: Money is not an issue. Fortune Finder is simply awful; Master Trader isn't actively bad, just strictly unnecessary.
Friendly Foe: Noooo. This is free in Fallout 2, as of course it should be.
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.
Mental Block: There's no need for this at all.
Mutate!: Don't waste a perk changing traits in mid-game instead of choosing right to begin with. (Well, it would be OK to change Finesse into Fast Shot at level 21 after getting Sniper and having a high LK, but if you get to that point you're not playing a regular game anyway.)
Mysterious Stranger: Utterly useless.
Night Vision (3): Situational, and doesn't do much. Increase your weapon skill instead, or even pick Sharpshooter.
Pathfinder (2): Time is not an issue... er, well, maybe it is, but not this important!
Rad Resistance (3), Snakeater: Poison and radiation aren't common enough, or difficult enough to handle, to necessitate these small bonuses.
Ranger (3): Random encounters aren't that bothersome.
Scrounger: You don't need this.
Sharpshooter (2): Effectively just a minimal skill increase for ranged attacks. Raise your preferred weapon skill instead and use the perk for something special.
Survivalist (3): Look! If you take all three levels of this perk it will make it virtually impossible for you to get caught in a rock slide when travelling and get hit for 2 points of damage! It is a must!
Swift Learner (3): This helps you gain levels. What's the primary purpose of gaining levels? To get perks. So why use perks to gain more levels?
The effective size of the discount granted by Master Trader varies between shops, roughly in a 15-30% range. This is probably because barter modifiers are applied cumulatively and not sequentially.
If you have only one trait when you get the Mutate! perk, you must exchange that for the new one, i.e. you can't just fill the other slot and keep the old trait.
In v1.0 you could reportedly use Mutate! to change Gifted into something else but still keep the stat points.
The effect of Night Vision varies depending on the lighting conditions and your number of perk levels. Each modifier threshold you cross gives you +15% to hit with a ranged weapon, for a maximum of +30% in complete darkness with three levels of Night Vision. At other times, any specific level might not do anything at all. Frank Shannon notes that Night Vision adds some clarity for people with dark monitors.
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 is even worse here than in Fallout 2, since you can't go beyond level 21. It may 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 at most one level ahead of someone who doesn't ruin their early game wasting invaluable perks, and for that you'll have to wait until level 17! So, that adds up eventually to a few HP and skill points, for three perks... Do not choose this perk ever, ever, ever, ever!
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. Or you can be stupid, which is the same as devoting yourself entirely to combat. Note that most skills depend very weakly on your initial stats (Speech is 25%+CH*2 as compared to CH*5 in Fallout 2), so that your Intelligence mostly determines how many secondary skills you'll be able to raise to a fair level, and no skill is a "lost cause" from the beginning.
The "developed" stats given below don't include the extra two stat points you can get by exploiting glitches. If you're going for those you can make the necessary adjustments yourself.
Sniper: A clever character that can solve all quests and finish off bad guys easily. Which sort of summarizes what you do in this game.
Initial stats: ST 6, PE 7, EN 4, CH 1, IN 7, AG 9, LK 7.
Developed stats: ST 10, PE 8, EN 5, CH 2, IN 8, AG 10, LK 8.
Comments: Take Mentats to meet the PE requirement of Better Criticals. You may have to postpone the big fight with the raiders, since you'll be weaker at the start than the Small Guns character. When you get the Super Sledge and Bonus HtH Attacks, come back and whup their asses.
Stupid: Be stupid and don't do any quests and just kill everyone and everything you don't like.
Initial stats: ST 6, PE 9, EN 4, CH 1, IN 3, AG 9, LK 9.
Developed stats: ST 10, PE 10, EN 5, CH 2, IN 3, AG 10, LK 10.
Comments: You need 2 Mentats for Bonus Rate of Fire. The stats are the same whether you choose ranged combat or HtH, and the given perk progression will let you stick to both styles (don't worry about Slayer - you'll never get either of those two anyway). Raise Small Guns early on and Melee Weapons once you get a decent weapon. Or stick to one of the Sniper or Brawler perk progressions to optimize one fighting style. Stat increases require the use of Mentats and it's assumed you don't get the IN rise.
During the game you may accumulate one or two 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 "specific reputations". They don't affect your stats, only how people in the game world react to you.
Berserker: Kill significantly more good people than bad people.
Champion: Kill significantly more bad people than good people.
Childkiller: Kill a child for any reason, even by accident.
Although you get the Childkiller reputation after killing one child, you'll need to kill three before the people of the wasteland actually start regarding you as a Childkiller. This doesn't have any overpowering effect, though. In the walkthrough I'll write "Childkiller" when it really should say "having killed three or more children".
If any of your NPCs kills a child you don't get the Childkiller reputation.
For most characters the reaction system is entirely forgettable. It is in fact impossible to get a bad reaction even with CH 1 unless you have Childkiller or Berserker, have negative karma, or go out of your way to insult people. The factors involved can be summed up like this:
Each point of CH: +5
Each level of the Presence perk: +10
If the sum is 0 or below you get a bad reaction. If it's 51 or above you get a favourable reaction. Everything in between is a neutral reaction. This calculation is made only when you first talk to a critter, although things you say to them may nudge the result in either direction. In the vast majority of cases neither approval nor disapproval has any tangible consequences.
With Cult of Personality the resulting karma modifier is always positive. Surprised that the effects of karma and Champion/Berserker are not reversed for evil critters? Well, that's in part because there are no evil critters in the Fallout world as far as the reaction system is concerned: due to what appears to be a huge oversight, none of them is flagged as such. Everyone in the wasteland will respond well to heroes and badly to scoundrels - when it comes to reaction, at any rate. This also means Cult of Personality will only come into effect when playing a character with negative karma. (Ironically, in Fallout 2 the good/evil variable is in place, but the reaction system is hardly used, and Cult of Personality has no effect at all.)
And now for some stuff on radiation, which does play a small part in the Fallout world. The only prominent source of radiation is the dreaded Glow. Whenever you get a huge dose all at once, the message window says "You have received a large dose of radiation."
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.
"vomiting does not stop"
"hair is falling out"
"skin is falling off"
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. From what I can tell, there is never any permanent damage resulting from radiation.
In v1.0 your stats didn't reset properly after serious radiation conditions; instead they increased above their original values.
"I know who you are. You are walking death, a plague in human form. Where you step, blood flows like a river."
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. 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.
There are no "hidden" world map locations, i.e. they'll all be there for you to find even if you didn't hear about them from anyone.
There is, of course, one crucial time limit in the game, for returning with the Water Chip. After that there was a 500-day time limit in the original (before the mutants found Vault 13), which was removed by the patch. There's a hard-coded time limit of 13 years which you cannot avoid, but it shouldn't be much of a problem. Finally you must enter Necropolis within 110 days if you want to experience that area properly, which could be regarded as a time limit of sorts.
Here's a few hints and tips compiled into a handy list:
Be polite. If you tell people you like to eat children they'll like you less. Most of them. Some may even refuse to speak with you further.
Put away your weapon when you're not using it. Aside from the fact that you'll open doors faster, many more people than in Fallout 2 will react negatively to guns being shoved in their faces.
Also many more people will be busy or sleeping during certain hours of the day, usually the night ones.
Lots of times you only get one chance to talk to people; after you leave dialogue they might present you with different conversation options, or only give you floating dialogue. At other times you may only be able to access a specific thread once.
Another big difference from Fallout 2 is that there are many more random skill and stat checks as opposed to fixed value requirements. For one thing, this tends to randomize the game and reduce the difference between various character types. For another thing, the threads where you must pass a check are often ones you cannot revisit. For this reason you might want to save before every conversation even if you know what you're doing. Not every skill check in the game will be listed in the guide. I've tried to catch non-Speech checks in dialogue; most others should be pretty obvious.
Check bookcases, lockers etc. for stuff and take it. Places where you can get into trouble for trying to loot containers (Raiders, Necropolis, Razlo's bookcase) are mentioned in the walkthrough. Also look for items on the ground. I'll usually only list such loot if it's something special.
Tell-me-abouts are only for additional flavour and information (usually trivial and/or already known), and never set variables or trigger events. You can forget about them completely if you want. Some talking heads have many extra sound clips for them, though - try asking Loxley about "boneyard" and "razor".
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. 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.
When bartering, the game never checks for weight. What's more, you cannot be "overloaded", so you can actually barter for more than you can carry and run around with it - but while you do you won't be able to pick anything up, even weightless stuff like Bottle Caps or Stimpaks. While not so useful for a solo character, this has a significant impact on the mule capacity of NPCs.
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). In some of these cases you can try chewing Mentats, if you have them. IN 7 is enough for virtually all important dialogue nodes.
A 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. 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 three locations to be able to access the "Rest for ten minutes" option.
Here's a cheat from Michal Zalewski: "If you are at the brink of an impossible to win encounter, and have no other options, 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...
"Don't drink glowing water."
--The Vault Dweller
The game starts with a cutscene where the Overseer tells you to "be safe" as he's kicking you out of the vault. Right. There's a vault door but you can't get back in right away. Take the Knife and ammo from the corpse, then kill as many rats as you want for practice and leave. You can use the Knife to kill them, but I wouldn't worry about using the gun, if you tagged Small Guns at any rate. You'll find plenty of ammo.
What equipment you start with depends slightly on your tag skills. Every character will have:
1 10mm Pistol
48 10mm JHP
You may also find yourself carrying (in addition to the above):
Small Guns: 24 10mm JHP
Unarmed: Brass Knuckles
Throwing: 2 Throwing Knife
First Aid: 2 Stimpak
Doctor: 1 First Aid Kit
Steal and/or Lockpick: 1 Lock Picks
Science: 2 Mentats, 2 Buffout
Repair: 1 Tool
Outdoorsman: 3 Water Flask
If you pass the time until the clock reaches midnight, by resting in the cave after defeating all the rats or by moving around on the world map, you can enter the vault. The medic on level 1 will provide healing and remove radiation. If you hit him or kill any vault citizen he won't talk to you any more.
IN<4: The medic will give you a Stimpak every time you talk to him. Infinite free Stimpaks!
On level 3, use Science on the computers in the room to the left for 350 xp from each - but if you fail an IN check you'll simply spend time "surfing the interweb" and gain nothing. Ask the guard at the armoury about locked doors (IN 6 and Speech needed) and tell her you need the stuff and she'll let you in.
The Overseer sits in the room to the right. You can talk to him and he'll basically tell you what remains to be done to move on with or finish the game, i.e. solve quests 2, 3 and 4. After you've talked to him a few times you can ask for more stuff and get 48 10mm JHP and 2 Stimpaks.
You can turn on the people in Vault 13 and still carry on with the rest of the game, even finishing it. However, it's not possible to kill the Overseer by attacking him in the command centre. If you initiate dialogue with the Overseer when he's hostile, he'll fire and inflict 250 HP of damage, but all further attacks will be "normal".
Calm the rebel faction.
Upset vault citizens on level 2 will tell you to come to Theresa's room at 17.00. You can actually go and talk to Theresa at any time and convince her the Overseer is right for 750 xp. This requires IN 6 and a Speech check and you only get one attempt, so save first. Another way to "finish" the quest is to kill Theresa (any rebels witnessing this will attack you), but you get no quest xp for this. Afterwards you can provoke any remaining upset citizens into attacking you, but you should know better. If you don't finish this quest within 100 days the rebel faction will indeed disappear from the vault.
Destroy the Mutant leader.
This is a 10,000 xp quest that will get solved in a completely different location.
Destroy the source of the Mutants.
Find the Water Chip.
This is your main quest, initially at least. There'll be annoying cutscenes when 100 and 50 days remain of the 150-day time limit. Once you return with the chip, take it to the Overseer for 7500 xp. When this happens you won't be able to finish quests 1 and 5 any more (though they're crossed out on your quest list). You then get quests 2 and 3.
This quest is not crucial to finishing the game, i.e. if you kill the Master and destroy the vats before the time limit runs out, you win the game.
A tip for item hoarders from Sebastian Cassten: "For keeping the Water Chip, simply press the 0 button when the Overseer asks you for it. Afterward you will be at the computer, gain the 7500 xp, lose the time limit, get the new quests from the Overseer and keep the chip." If you have a Bag or Back Pack below the Water Chip in your inventory list this will also keep the chip from disappearing.
There are two ways to "reset" this quest. The easiest is to talk to the Water Merchants (see the Hub). The other requires that you kept the chip: returning to Necropolis and using it on the water computer there will also undo the chip quest, which means you can give the Water Chip to the Overseer again for 7500 more xp. Using the cheat to keep the chip you could travel between the Hub and Vault 13, gaining 8500 xp each round trip and increasing the time limit all the while. Hours and hours of bug exploitation fun.
Find the Water Thief.
Talk to Lyle or Cindy on level 2 or the water guard on level 3 after at least 30 days have passed and they'll tell you someone's stealing water. You must offer to help for this quest to become active. Go to level 3. Rest until midnight and a suspicious fellow will emerge from the elevator. Unless you talk to him he'll go into the storeroom and take some water (even if you're standing right next to him). You can then accost and search him and crack the case for 1000 xp. If you fail a CH check he'll attack and you'll only get 500 xp for killing him (unless the security officer comes running and kills him instead or an NPC deals the killing blow, in which case you get nothing). You can actually kill him as soon as you see him and get the 500 xp.
"How about you and I... well, you know... get together."
"Listen... uh... but I... uh... I-I like guys, okay? Whew! Uh, excuse me, I got stuff to do."
--The Vault Dweller and Tandi
On your way to Vault 15 you'll come across a conspicuous settlement. Talk to Katrina by the gate for some game basics, and if you go through all the available dialogue options in one go you'll gain 250 xp.
The first time I played the game my character was a female named Katrina. The first person I talked to in the whole game was Katrina. What are the odds? Her hints for the two local quests have been mixed up, so that if you've got the radscorpion quest you can ask her about Tandi's kidnapping and vice versa.
Razlo in the house to the southwest will tell you to stay away from his bookcase o' stuff. Save and try anyway. He and his wife will both give you two warnings before attacking, but with a little luck you can take all the stuff without either noticing. Razlo will heal you for money. You can also choose to barter for healing; if you leave the barter interface without trading for the healing object, he'll try to charge you in cash. Once you get a Scorpion Tail, give it to Razlo and he'll reward you with an Antidote and 250 xp. For each tail you give him he'll turn it into an Antidote, but it'll take some time. Next, use one Antidote on Jarvis in the back for 400 xp.
You can get the medical barter items in your inventory by putting them in a container (see Raiders for a note on this). If you do this, Razlo will think you didn't buy the item and try to charge you in cash as usual. If you return later to buy healing carrying one or more such items, Razlo will consider this payment and then purge all of them from your inventory after you leave the barter interface (but not those inside bags, as usual). Which item he offers depends on how hurt you are when you talk to him, but each is good for a full heal.
After your first conversation with Razlo he will refuse to speak with you if you are a Childkiller or Berserker. However, he'll talk to you if you are currently doing either of the Shady Sands quests, if you carry a Scorpion Tail, or if you approach him after 19.00. I guess his aversion isn't that deeply rooted after all.
Talk to Ian in the house to the northeast. Unless you go out of your way to anger him he'll consider joining you for $100, but if you offer him "a piece of the action" (IN 6) and pass a Speech check he'll come along for free. If you get a good reaction (which at this early stage essentially means CH 9 and telling him you're sorry about his injury) he'll readily join you. It doesn't matter much since it will all be your stuff to redistribute anyway, including the $100; the tricky part about paying him is that you won't have any money at all when you first get here, so you'll have to steal or barter the sum from various peasants (and Ian himself). You get 100 xp when Ian joins you, and in any case he can reveal the locations of Junktown and the Hub.
If you talk to Tandi and manage a favourable reaction she can put Junktown on your world map and tell you a spooky story about the deathclaw. If you talk to the cook and pass a LK check you get to compliment her on her cooking and gain 1 karma. One of the kids running around this part of the settlement will be carrying a Red Ryder BB Gun to go with the BB's you find in a bookcase.
Rock collectors ought to be disappointed with this game. There are 5 Rocks in a bookcase here and 5 more in Junktown... but that's it, except for Rocks carried around by children. Billy in the Hub has 5, and "generic" children - the ones found in both parts of Shady Sands, in Old Town in the Hub, in Adytum, and among the Blades - each amass 8-14 Rocks every time their map loads.
Over by the garden there's basically just one thing to do except pick stuff up (and toss caps into the well): talk to Curtis the farmer. You'll get 500 xp if you tell him about crop rotation. If you don't have the Science 40% needed for the speech option, you can get the xp by either entering and leaving the tell-me-about interface or entering and leaving the barter screen, even if you do nothing in either. This is seemingly because doing so triggers the script variable used to check if you told him.
Rescue Tandi from the Raiders.
If you spend two whole days outside of Shady Sands after dealing with the radscorpions and if Garl of the raiders is still alive when you return, Tandi will have been kidnapped. Seth will put Raiders on your world map, and Aradesh will give you a Spear. Talk to Razlo before leaving. If you tell him Tandi's been kidnapped and that you're looking for her, he'll give you 2 Stimpaks and 1 Fruit, and if you already delivered at least one tail to him you also get one Antidote.
You can get two rescue kits from Razlo by talking to him before and after 19.00.
Go to the Raiders. Opening the door to Tandi's cell will alarm the guard in the corridor, so you'll probably have to talk to Garl. There are several ways to effect Tandi's release:
If Garl thinks you're his father you can tell him to release Tandi if you have IN 6 and pass a CH check or a Speech check.
With Speech 45% you can attempt to threaten him (the "threat" line, not the "soul" line).
Barter for her (she'll cost between $400 and $1100 depending on CH and Barter). If you leave the barter interface without "buying" her, Garl will attack.
Fight him one on one (without weapons, Stimpaks and stuff). Despite what he says about the rules, he'll kill you if he knocks you out. If you win (talk to Garl after combat ends, or kill him), you'll get whatever was in Garl's inventory. Note that Garl does not return to the camp afterwards.
Unlock Tandi's door, talk to her and fight your way out, or kill everyone and then release her.
Use Sneak, unlock and open Tandi's door, talk to her and leave.
Fighting Garl can be very easy or very hard depending on your stats; with a low Melee Damage you'll often do no damage, even though his armour is actually equivalent to leather and not metal. The best way to defeat him is to cripple one of his limbs or knock him out. If you have lots of AP you can use hit and run tactics: hit him once, then run to the other side of the enclosure. He'll follow you but not have enough AP to attack. Repeat until you get a few lucky criticals, optionally finish him off after he yields.
Sebastian Cassten relates a way to get Tandi's head in your inventory: "You need a Bag or Back Pack for this (if you're lucky you might encounter a Bag near Vault 15, else the closest one is in Junktown). Now when you are at the Raiders camp for freeing Tandi, ask Garl to barter for her release. On the barter screen, buy her head and put it in the bag. When ending the dialogue Garl won't attack and Tandi's barter head will remain. But Tandi isn't free yet. For freeing her you can talk to Garl again and barter, fight or talk her out of her cage. You can also keep on going with the Tandi trick and get more of them. The Tandi head weighs 10 pounds and looks very strange when throwing it on the ground. This also works with the Light, Medium and Heavy Healing you can get from Razlo." Once you've got the head you can talk to Garl with the head in your inventory and say nothing at all; Tandi will be released and you get to keep the head.
You get 500 xp for freeing Tandi, minus 50 xp for every raider you killed to free her (including if you killed Garl in single combat). She'll stick with you as an NPC until you deliver her back to Shady Sands (400 xp and $500 from Aradesh), but she's not overly useful. Strangely enough, if she dies on the way back the people in Shady Sands won't have a word to say on the subject. When you return to the raiders next time they'll be hostile no matter how you freed her.
If you take Tandi to the east side of Shady Sands by way of the town map, you won't drop her off right away. If you then attack the peasants she may turn on you, or stand there watching. In either case, you get the 400 xp when you leave to the west side as long as you don't kill her.
Stop the Radscorpions.
Talk to Seth to get to the radscorpion caves. One way of finishing the quest is to kill all the scorpions, which shouldn't be impossible (if you tagged Small Guns at any rate). Don't miss the stuff lying around: two clips of 10mm JHP, one 10mm AP and one Stimpak. Remember to take as many Scorpion Tails as you can carry back to Shady Sands, for Razlo. You get 500 xp when you've killed all nine of them.
The other way is to plant Dynamite near the wall section described as "weak" by the entrance, which can be done even after you kill all the scorpions. For this you'll gain an amount of xp equal to 75 plus 75 for each radscorpion still alive (they're each worth 110 combat xp) plus 500 if you didn't kill them all, but never less than 300 xp. This means you get 1250 xp if you just go in, blow up the place and leave, but killing the scorpions first yields more xp. Beware that if you're caught on the wrong side when the wall caves in, you're dead.
IN<4: You can't get Seth to take you back to the caves once you kill all the scorpions, so bring the explosives right away if you want the bonus xp.
You set the timer on the explosives in your inventory and then drop it; time does not pass while you're in the inventory interface, so don't panic. 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 (wooden) doors and forcefields in the game using explosives, but you shouldn't make a habit out of it.
Make sure you bring one of the free Ropes from Shady Sands. Go down the manhole. Shoot the rats. Take the stuff from the lockers. Note that there are many items on the ground in this location, starting with 2 Flares near the elevator. Use the Rope on the elevator shaft and climb down.
Shoot more rats. There's some stuff to be had, including a Leather Jacket. Pick up a Hunting Rifle in the room to the southwest. Take the Rope and use it on the other elevator shaft. Climb down.
Guess what, more rats. Shoot them. Take stuff (10mm SMG, yum). Go near the caved-in door on the right. You'll get a message that you'll have to search elsewhere for the chip and 500 xp. Well, that was an exciting place.
"We give them the most important thing possible. We give their dreary lives excitement."
"I think I will make their lives boring again."
--Alya and the Vault Dweller
The raiders won't be aggressive when you first come here unless you flash weapons around. You can talk to the ones in the tents, but it doesn't do much. If you try to loot the containers inside the house you'll be attacked.
If you come here before Tandi is kidnapped, you can ask Garl if you can join the Khans. Tell him you want to kick ass, that you can be bloodthirsty, and that you'll kill the prisoners. You must do so within a few seconds and before talking to Garl again, or he'll attack. Once they're dead, talk to Garl and you get 500 xp for befriending the Khans.
If you fight the Khans and either kill Garl and three more raiders, or kill at least ten other raiders, you'll get 200 xp for each of the prisoners who remains alive. You should probably get the SMG from Vault 15 first, and/or Ian.
If your character is male with a LK of 9 or more there's a 50% chance (determined when you first arrive here) that the raiders will think you're Garl's father. You won't be able to talk to anyone but Garl; if you talk to him, it'll end in combat unless you have the quest to free Tandi, in which case he might let you take her. I don't think there's any more to be gained from this.
"Have a good day. And I am sorry about the bastards part, OK?"
"It's going to cause me some severe mental trauma."
--Kalnor and the Vault Dweller
If you come here at night, you get one chance to ask nicely to be let in (IN 5 and a Speech check), or you'll have to wait until morning. If you step inside without permission Kalnor will come running to attack, but if you just run to the northern exit grid he won't be hostile when you return (this will not work if Ian is with you). Once you're inside, you can talk to Lars for some information and a quest. The guard outside the jail will attack if you use Lockpick on the door twice (picking this lock is easier without Lock Picks). Avoid sneaking in the presence of the guards since it will also tick them off if done repeatedly.
Note that once you've talked to Kalnor during night hours, the outcome determines for the duration of the game whether he considers you to have "night clearance". This can cause problems later if you try to leave by the front gate at night, as told by Michal Burger: "You can enter Junktown at night if you've been there before: just don't choose the first map but any of the other two when the Junktown map pops up. I did this once without realizing that it was night and when I was going to leave, Kalnor acted as if I was outside of town, which means that he told me that I can't enter, and since I was in the town already attacked me a while after we ended our conversation. It doesn't matter how you did get into the town, Kalnor will attack you (after a warning) if you walk close to him during the night and stay in town. You can run past him out - he will warn you but you'll be OK if you leave the town area fast enough." If you do get attacked, you can dash for an exit grid and hope for the best.
If you approach with a weapon ready Kalnor will tell you to put it away and turn hostile if you don't. However, if you tell him you're "not putting down my shooters for nobody" and make a difficult Speech check, he will not initiate combat for any reason after that. You can then steal all his stuff without fear or trespass all you want.
Doc Morbid will heal you for money (HP and poison). If you're not hurt he'll charge you $10 and attack if you won't pay. Go down into the basement and talk to the midget. Get him to reveal the nature of Doc Morbid's business. The locker is both locked and trapped and will disintegrate if you open it before disarming the trap (which can be done with a low Traps skill) or if you set off the trap while disarming it. You can confront Doc Morbid with your findings, but nothing much happens. If you killed the midget, the people upstairs will turn hostile (but the police won't care if you kill them).
If you have Katja with you, you can ask her to pick the lock after you examine the locker. She won't disarm the trap, though! You should have about 75% Lockpick to go at it yourself.
If you talk to Morbid while he's in the basement and go along with what he says, he'll cut one of your eyes out. Ouch! Actually, all that happens is that you get a crippled eye, which can be healed using Doctor. If you don't want to lose an eye you'll have to fight him instead.
Beware that the Junktown guards may turn against you if they catch you fighting Doc Morbid's thugs. Once I ran from Doc Morbid's guards and tricked them into shooting Kalnor. Kalnor then fought on my side, but when the thugs were dealt with he told me I wasn't welcome any more, and when I tried to go back inside Junktown the guards were hostile. No fair!
After 80 days have passed there'll be a member of the Children of the Cathedral on the first Junktown map offering the same kind of healing for money (HP and poison) as in Necropolis. He'll have displaced some poor guy, but there's nothing you can do about that.
During the day you can buy stuff from Killian in the general store (use the three tables to access his whole stock), or exercise your shoplifting skills. He can put the Hub, Raiders and Necropolis on your world map. If you feel sneaky you can stand in the store and rest until it closes, or simply walk in through the door at 6.00 while Killian's still in his room. You can then take stuff from the tables; if it doesn't work at first, use Steal on the tables and try again. Open the door to Killian's living quarters and walk in. Rest until the store opens again at 7.00, and Killian teleports out of his room. Now you can take the stuff from his shelves and also pick his safe, which will yield about $2000 (if you didn't barter for that money previously), some stuff and 500 xp. When you're done, just walk out of there whistling; Killian won't react.
The guardsmen on this map will react if they see you with a weapon. Note that if a guard gets to the point where he tells you to put the weapon away or face the consequences you can no longer stop him from going hostile, although you can head for the nearest exit grid. Also you cannot intimidate them even though they have the same lines of dialogue as Kalnor. If you help take down Kenji they stop caring about this, whether you agree to work for Killian or not.
IN<4: To barter with Killian, use one of the tables and then hit the barter button when faced with your one unproductive dialogue option.
You may want to save before picking any lock 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 or very shortly thereafter (though you can use lockpick items on a jammed door). Depending on what script is being used you can break your (Electronic) Lock Picks in some locks if you get a critical failure, instead of or in addition to jamming it. This isn't one of them, but keep it in mind. There's only so many Lock Picks in the game...
Unlike in Fallout 2 you can get a lot of stuff for your loot in most shops even with a modest Barter skill, providing that your CH is good. If you brought several Desert Eagles from the raiders you should be able to trade them for ammo, some Stimpaks and a Bag, as well as anything else you might like. By investing in Barter you will even be able to sell items for more than you pay for them, with the result that you can methodically strip shopkeepers of all they have - about 60% should be enough to do this to Killian. No real point to it, though. Another very important thing to note is that shops don't restock anything but money, with a couple of exceptions. Killian is one: he'll randomly restock a few things including .223 FMJ ammo, but this stops once you crack his safe.
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. Note that since most shopkeepers reset their cash every time you talk to them, a large sum of caps can "disintegrate" if you trade it in for some expensive item. But because of the cash reset feature this isn't such a big deal anyway.
If Killian catches you in his room, spots you tampering with the door while he's out in the store, or notices a Steal attempt on the tables, you may have to go to jail. Wait there for a day and they'll let you out again. If you pick the lock and step outside you'll gain 250 xp, but the guards will be hostile. Might as well do this first if you're going to kill Killian anyway (which always earns you 600 xp).
Each time you are sent to jail - even if it's just to keep you out of the way when Killian deals with Gizmo - you are fined $100 and lose 1 karma. If you don't have $100 you lose a total of 3 karma instead.
Pointless exercise: blow up the jail door with Dynamite, then go and get caught opening Killian's door. They'll throw you into jail, but there's no door, so you can just walk out of there without getting any xp or turning Junktown hostile. Return to Killian and he'll act as if nothing strange is happening. Repeat for as many times as you like for infinite bad karma.
Marcelles at the Crash House will let you rent a room for $25 a day or $150 for a week. Each time you rest in your room you regain 10-15 HP. You can also pay her $50 for nothing. If you open the fridge more than once without being a paying customer she'll attack.
On the third Junktown map you'll find an angry dog. If you talk to Phil he'll describe a Mad Max-like fellow, the dog's previous owner. Use an Iguana-on-a-stick on Dogmeat, or talk to him wearing a Leather Jacket, and you get 100 xp and Dogmeat for an NPC. Killing the dog won't give you any quest xp.
If you return here later in the game without having recruited Dogmeat, you may find that he starts following you once you enter the map. He'll only follow you around this one map, though, and it is then impossible to get him for an NPC.
You can gamble in Gizmo's casino. I wouldn't (it's not as if you're short on resources or anything). If you do, talk to a roulette dealer, weigh down the 1 and 4 keys and wait a few minutes for your cash reserves to increase by tens of thousands of caps. You can do this with a middling Gambling level, say, 50% (Luck is also a small factor). Avoid the slot machines, the bets are lower and the odds worse. Don't flash guns in front of the casino guards or they'll be miffed.
Tom Jansen notes: "In Gizmo's casino, you can find a guy dressed in metal armour in the second room. To get his armour you need an NPC with you. Steal from him and keep doing it until you get caught. Instead of attacking you, he will run away. Don't chase him but end your turn. Your NPC will chase him and kill him for you. Now you can loot his corpse and get that Metal Armor he's wearing. I did this with Ian and Dogmeat as NPCs and Ian went into a craze killing every gambler in the casino. Besides the armour, I ended up with some nice amount of cash as well. The guards and Gizmo don't seem to care one bit." You can actually attack the guy yourself as long as you don't deal the killing blow. There are two male gamblers who will turn hostile as a result of this, but no one else will.
If you feel like it, you can talk to Gizmo and get the job to kill Killian. He'll offer $1000, but with IN 6 you can ask for $1500 and always get it. Return after whacking Killian and you get your reward (he'll only ask for the Dog Tags if you haven't done it). If you killed Killian before talking to Gizmo you get the $1000 reward. You must click on Izo to get the money. You can imagine that this turns the guards and citizens of Junktown hostile if not done subtly. If you kill Gizmo on your own you get 600 xp for it and the guards won't turn hostile, but Lars won't talk to you afterwards which could affect quest 3.
If you save and reload in between talking to Gizmo and Izo, you won't get the reward since it's governed by a local variable that doesn't get saved.
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. 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 for 10-30 seconds and plant it on your victim using Steal, or if you have the right armour (i.e. Powered Armor) you can even keep the explosive in your inventory and stand next to the victim. If any critter is harmed by the blast but doesn't die you'll enter combat mode which is usually bad. However, you can circumvent this effect by leaving the map before the explosive goes off, or at least running pretty far away from anyone who's allied with 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 a Bag, 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.) Note that some scripts have nasty events triggering as a result of a critter's death even if you technically weren't responsible, so a silent kill may not always be possible.
Talk to Saul the boxer, ask him why he stays in Junktown, and if you've talked to Trish you can say she's worried about him to gain 250 xp. You can bet on his boxing fights every three days before 14.00, but there's not much point to it (the expected payback, if positive, is extremely small). Although it's funny when he fights the radscorpion.
The Skum Pitt opens at 16.00 (you may have to rest a few more minutes for the whole clientele to show up). The singer will put the Hub, Adytum and the Brotherhood on your world map if you compliment him on his singing. You can buy drinks and talk the Shark into attacking you. If you want the Urn on the countertop, you can pick it up easily between 4.10 and 12.00. At other times you must use Steal on the counter to get it - Neal will turn hostile if you fail your skill check even if he's not even there, so save first. If you give it back to Neal you'll be able to get free Beer, Booze and Nuka-Cola. You can also put the Urn back on the counter, but it'll be invisible and Neal won't reward you for it.
Tycho is the guy with a rifle near the singer. His description says he's wearing a trenchcoat and a gas mask, but sadly his character model doesn't reflect this. In fact he looks a lot like several other people. Join him for a drink, and you get a Nuka-Cola and one shot at asking him about wilderness knowledge and gaining a +5% Outdoorsman bonus (his story of the Nevada Rangers is a reference to Wasteland, and the "fat freak" he mentions is Fat Freddy). If you agreed to set Gizmo up for Killian you can ask Tycho to join you after you introduce yourself, and you get 300 xp.
Rent a room at the Crash House, then walk into the room on the right. The game will ask if you want to rest, do so. You'll wake up and Marcelles asks you to rescue Sinthia from the clutches of a raider. If you refuse to get involved Marcelles will grab her Shotgun and both Sinthia and the raider will be killed.
Dealing with the raider yourself, you can shoot him or just walk up to him, which will make him come after you and leave Sinthia, or you can talk the guy into attacking you (watch out - some threads lead to him killing Sinthia first) and kill him, but Sinthia won't like that (400 xp). Or you could try to talk him down; you'll have to initiate dialogue three times. When he asks you for money, either give him $100 or tell him he can just walk away (Speech check needed) and you'll gain 1000 xp. If he says he wants $200 you must give him that or he'll snap. A third way is to Sneak up to him and make an unarmed attack, which will knock him out if you make a Sneak check (400 xp). If you rescued Sinthia, Marcelles will give you an extra night's sleep for free.
Don't save and reload in between talking to the raider, since his attitude towards you will reset and you may find you have no option but to fight him.
If you get the 1000 xp and tell Sinthia she should move on with her life, you'll get a "freebie" if you're male or if you make a CH check. Male characters can return and hire her services for $40 each time. Each time you sleep with her you must make an IN check or become "addicted". Ho hum.
This doesn't appear on your quest list until Gizmo is dead, but I'll sort all the Gizmo dealings here anyway. The first time you exit dialogue after talking to Killian, a guy named Kenji walks in with a rifle and starts shooting Killian. If you do nothing, Killian may be killed, in which case you mysteriously get 600 xp for "your part" (and can loot the whole store without the guards reacting). If you just stand by and watch as Kenji is killed, nothing happens after that.
If you get in at least one hit on Kenji, however, you get 400 xp and Killian will ask you to wear a wire and go see Gizmo, the local scumbag. If you refuse, you get thrown into jail (see above) while Killian and his men take out Gizmo. Agree to help and you get a Bug and a Tape Recorder. Now go to Gizmo. To get the confession using the Tape Recorder, either claim you killed Killian but say you don't have the Dog Tags ("I don't want to see your face until you've offed Killian"), or ask why Gizmo wants Killian dead ("I want him dead because he cramps my business"). If you prefer the Bug, simply plant the Bug on him using Steal and that's it. Return to Killian and you get 500 xp for securing evidence, plus you get to choose one of the following:
1 Shotgun and 100 12 ga. Shotgun Shells
1 Leather Armor
1 Doctor's Bag
Next Killian asks you to help take out Gizmo. Go to Lars and tell him you're ready, then help kill Gizmo and 600 more xp and $500 (whether you asked for money or not) will be yours. Go take stuff from Gizmo's body. You won't be able to gamble any more (in fact everyone disappears from the casino), but who cares really.
If either Lars or Killian is killed in the fight, they still live back on their respective maps (you get a message saying as much when Lars goes down, but not for Killian). There's also a possible bug where Lars is duplicated after the fight and will give you different dialogue on the two maps, which may complicate the Skulz business.
If you were in jail while Gizmo was killed you can't search his corpse.
If you've already accepted the job to kill Killian when you talk to him for the first time, Kenji won't show up. Instead you can ask about Gizmo and say he only tried to hire you; Killian will then offer you the job as usual.
Bust the Skulz gang.
You get this from Lars. One way to finish this is to talk to Sherry, the girl outside the room where the main part of the gang is. Convince her she should get out. Return after one day, talk to her again and ask her to testify against the Skulz. Then go and tell Lars, and you'll earn 500 xp. If you visit Sherry and tell her you're not doing so good she'll give you food which heals 1 HP.
IN<4: Victor will explode if you talk to him. Ha! Ha! Heh heh hee! Ho ho ha!
Another way is a little more complicated, but yields more xp. Go to the Skum Pitt after 16.00 and talk to Neal. Shortly after you end conversation one of the Skulz will hit Trish, and Neal kills him. After this has happened you can go to Vinnie and tell him you want to join the Skulz. Get the Urn as described above; you get 400 xp for showing it to Vinnie (but you can't do this if Neal is dead). Next they'll want you to come along and help kill Neal. You get 300 xp when Neal and Trish are dead, as well as the enmity of Junktown even if you didn't do anything yourself.
If you talk to Shark and say you'll join him thrashing the place, he'll draw his gun and attack Trish, leading into a normal battle instead of the scripted sequence. In this case, or if you provoke Shark to attack you, you can't ask Vinnie about joining the Skulz. Also if the Skul who's supposed to hit Trish hasn't appeared on the map when you first talk to Neal, the sequence will never happen.
The more decent-like option is to say you need time to prepare and go tell Lars what's up. You can let him and the guards take out the Skulz, in which case you get nothing. Or you can agree to help, which again means a fight at the Skum Pitt. This time you'll have a bunch of Junktown guards to help you out. When the Skulz are killed you get 300 xp for turning against them, and if you talk to Lars you get another 500 xp. You can still choose the evil path after calling for the guards, it just means you have to kill all of them too before you get the xp for killing Neal. If you turn against the Skulz without talking to Lars first you get the same 800 xp, the only difference being there will be no guards at the fight.
The guards will be assigned to be your allies, but you must attack the Skulz yourself before they know who the enemy is. You can actually attack the bar patrons instead and the guards will help you defeat them, but once combat ends they'll be hostile.
If you kill the Skulz and the guards, you get the "turn against Skulz" reward, but you'll still be a fugitive since you attacked the guards.
You have two days to prepare for the fight after you show the Urn to Vinnie. If you wait that long and then enter the casino map Neal will be dead; the game also likes to crash at this point, but if you first enter the map and then rest until he dies it should work. You won't be able to tell Lars about the attack, but you can tell Vinnie you're ready, and the Skulz will then storm the empty bar to no great effect (you can kill them for the 800 xp though).
The bar fight can be a buggy thing. It's happened that after I helped the Skulz kill Neal I got another 300 xp every time I entered the casino map, plus the Skulz members would spawn anew. Another time when I talked to Vinnie afterwards he gave me the dialogue where he asks if you're ready for the fight. A bug which seems to happen if you already helped get rid of Gizmo is that the guards won't be on your side and will turn on you if you attack the Skulz.
Note that you can't finish the quest simply by killing the gang at the Crash House. Killing any of the Skulz but Sherry won't turn the guards hostile, though.
"Rats? You've got to be kidding me."
"No, really. BIG rats!"
--Butch and the Vault Dweller
When you arrive here you'll see lots of people getting ready to leave with caravans. Depending on the time of day there will be one or two named ones: Mat, Luke or John (where's Mark?). Talking to Mat and asking about the carts will put Shady Sands, Junktown, Necropolis, the Brotherhood and (for some reason) the Glow on your world map. There are a few other people on this map who'll give you general information - Deputy Fry, Dan and Gunther.
If you become an outlaw in the Hub, you won't be able to leave combat mode while on a map with living Hub cops on it.
Michal Burger chimes in: "Later, when you talk to Harold about what has happened to him, he mentions some guy that went with him to the Military Base, but was wounded and sent back to the surface. His name was Mark and when you ask what happened to him, Harold replies that he haven't heard about him ever since. So, that might be what has happened to Mark." Only thing is, that was 60 years ago according to the Fallout Bible timeline, but it could perhaps explain why there's no Mark Jr. around. A little bit of trivia...
Head downtown. At the Crimson Caravan you can take guard jobs. Caravans leave on the 3rd and 17th to Junktown, Necropolis, the Brotherhood and the Boneyard, and the pay is $600. Talk to Demetre again and tell him the caravans aren't ready yet and he'll give you a Frag Grenade. Keri is the one to talk to when the caravan is ready to leave. Male characters can hit on her: if you are a Berserker, or if you have CH 7 and make a CH check, you'll slip around the corner and she'll give you 1 Psycho, 1 Mentats and 1 Buffout afterwards.
General details on caravan jobs include:
Talking to a caravan master after being cleared for work puts all of their destinations on the world map.
If you work for the Crimson Caravan you will always have an encounter, otherwise the chance is 75% except for going to or from the Boneyard in which case the probability is 50%. Encounters vary greatly in difficulty and depend somewhat on route and employer.
It doesn't matter one whit what you do during a caravan run. You can run from an encounter or kill some or all of the guards and brahmin (they won't fight back) and still get paid and get new jobs.
When you arrive at your destination you'll have a choice between returning to the Hub with the caravan (same pay, you'll have two hours for sightseeing if you want) or staying put.
Going back and forth will take 2-3 days from the time limit, but may take up to 20 days as measured by the calendar. See Irwin's quest below for a description of this timer bug.
If you have the Mysterious Stranger perk, there will always be an additional caravan guard with 100 HP armed with an Assault Rifle. He will appear even if your regular stranger is dead, and killing him does not deprive you of the stranger.
Caravan brahmin are all "talking" ones (see the Encounters section).
There is a scripting bug that is common to all three caravan houses. Talk to the caravan master on the day a caravan is due to leave and say you want to go; then, when given a choice of destinations, change your mind. You can now go to the entrance of the Hub and collect your salary from a newly spawned caravan leader.
The Far Go Traders send out caravans on the 8th, 18th and 28th to Junktown, the Brotherhood and the Boneyard, paying $400 for each. Talk to Rutger to get the job once you've accepted quest 3, and the caravaneer in the same room when it's time to go. Butch will also put these locations on your world map plus Necropolis.
The librarian will sell you an infinite amount of books, and a Vault Location Holodisk for $750 ($500 if you make a CH or Barter check). The disk contains a pretty strong hint where to find the water chip. You can threaten her and get it for free if you make a ST check, but in that case you can't talk to her again which may hurt you later. Mitch sells Stimpaks and books very cheaply, but like most merchants he doesn't restock. Beth sells weapons and armour, though it's nothing you shouldn't have at this point. You get 15% off at Beth's if you took the quest for the Far Go Traders (see below).
If you give or trade a Bag or Back Pack to Mrs Stapleton, this will stop the engine from purging books from her inventory at the end of conversation, and she'll get five more of each type every time you enter dialogue with her. This could be convenient if you want to trade lots of books at once for some very expensive item or set of items. You could also steal them. If a stack of books ends up beneath the Bag in her inventory - for instance if you moved all of them onto the table and back - it will go back to being treated normally, i.e. that kind of book will not replenish unless she has less than five.
Talk to Lorenzo and borrow $200. Then immediately return it, borrow $400 and so on, until you have $1000 from him. Now kill him and his two guards, and you'll be able to take $2034 more from the locker in the back and some other stuff from the shelves. The police don't mind. If you ask Lorenzo about the Children, he'll put the Boneyard on your world map; if you ask him about work he'll tell you about Decker. If you actually plan to pay him back, the interest is 10% a day on the original loan. After 10 days he'll be upset and want his money back; you can then try to fool him by giving him less money than what is owed, or even give him all you have (hint: drop all your money first). Lorenzo won't loan you any more money once you've failed to pay him back in time.
Every time you talk to Lorenzo he will have $1000, $2000 or $3000 in his inventory (depending on how much you carry yourself); you can trade stuff to him if you plan on killing him later. He won't talk to you if you fought Decker's people or if you pissed off Kane.
If you talk to Lemmy outside the Maltese Falcon you can buy pointless info for lots of cash: a recommendation to Vance the chem dealer for $1000 (or $800 with good Barter or CH), a completely useless clue on water chips for $500 (or $400), and an equally useless clue on missing caravans for $300 (or $240). With a high ST you can intimidate him into giving you these snippets for free.
Irwin standing in a building at the bottom of the map wants you to clear out the raiders infesting his farm. He'll only ask you if you're level 5 or higher; unless you bring a couple of NPCs you should probably be level 9 or so. Once you agree, you're teleported to the farm. Beware that once you leave this place you can never come back, so don't save here unless you're confident you can take out the raiders. Kill them all, pick up 2 Stimpaks and 1 Metal Armor from the floor, then return to Irwin to collect a reward of one .223 Pistol! You also get 500 xp though it doesn't show in the message window.
The journey to Irwin's farm and back takes about three weeks according to your Pipboy, yet you only lose two days from the time limit to find the water chip. Other timed events, like Lorenzo's deadlines or the Necropolis invasion, follow the calendar. There are other places in the game where you get this sort of discrepancy in conjunction with scripted map transitions, but you don't have to pay much heed to it.
You can buy Iguana-on-a-sticks from Bob. If you know what they're actually made of you can try a little blackmail and squeeze him for $50 to $200 every five days. This is worth 500 xp, but you'll have to wait five days before collecting your first payment, which takes some ST or CH as well. You can raise the amount by increments of $25 to $100, but if you go above $250 then you won't be able to talk him into giving you more money if he later decides he doesn't want to pay. Note that if you ever talk Bob into a fight, the Hub guards will attack you and not him.
In v1.0 there was a bug so that you could collect your fee whenever you wanted and not just every five days.
Decker resides under the Maltese Falcon (where you can also gamble, same deal as in Junktown). Once you get the quest to kill Hightower (or Jain), you can go to Sheriff Greene and tell him about this. If you did kill the person in question and fail a Speech check, Greene will be suspicious and ask about your involvement, leading to another Speech check ("How dare you accuse me!" is your best reply here). If you fail that one too, Greene won't talk to you any more. If you passed either check, however, the sheriff will ask you to come along and kill Decker (and will in fact do nothing until you agree to do this). This battle is tough, not least because of Kane who has four attacks per round and hits hard. I'd recommend you have at least 50 HP and Combat Armor from Jacob before attempting this, or take 2 Psycho. You can't leave the hideout until Decker and Kane are both dead, but as soon as they are the others will surrender. You get $300 from the sheriff when you agree to go, $1000 and 1400 xp when it's all taken care of. Remember to go and loot Decker's place afterwards, and you can of course kill any remaining scum.
If the sheriff didn't make it Kenny will give you the reward instead. In fact you can kill Greene and Fry in the fight and the police won't know you did it.
Ask Beth about Decker after you kill him and tell her you did it, and she'll give you 6 Stimpaks.
Kill Deputy Kenny and watch the message window.
In Old Town, Jacob sells stuff like Combat Armor and Sniper Rifles. He'll have a Super Sledge if you talk to him a second time (it's actually the weapon he's wielding to begin with). If you ask for something with "more punch", he'll put the Brotherhood and the Boneyard on your world map. Vance to the east sells chems (you may want some Rad-X before going to the Glow later, if you don't find it elsewhere), but he doesn't deal with just anyone who comes in the door. You can get a recommendation from Jacob if you ask him about RadAway, or from Lemmy by paying lots of money. With good Speech or CH you don't need one. Other ways to get at Vance's goods is to hit the barter button when he initiates dialogue the first time, or to kill him before he has a chance to do so (his stuff will then be in his corpse).
In a crate to the right of where Jacob is standing you'll find a heap of Junk. This is actually a quest item which is used in two parts of the game, so if you grab this it might save you some running around later.
Just south of the exit grid there's a gang of four toughs guarding a prisoner, and they'll attack you on sight (you should be safe out in the street... most of the time). If you find this fight too hard, you could try to enlist the aid of the Hub police by hiding behind them and hoping the thugs will hit them accidentally. The prisoner will put the Brotherhood on your world map if you didn't already have it. You have to talk to him to free him.
In the southern Hub area you find the Water Merchants. Their boss will put Necropolis on your world map if you ask about the water chip (another hint). You can also get them to deliver water to your vault for $2000 ($1000 or $500 with good Barter). This earns you 100 days on the water chip time limit and 1000 xp, so go for it. They also send caravans to Junktown and the Boneyard on the 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th of each month, paying $200. Talk to the midget in the courtyard when the caravan is about to leave.
Beware a grisly bug that can happen if you already finished the water chip quest. If you ever discussed paying for water caravans you can do so again after delivering the chip to the Overseer, earning the 1000 xp and reactivating the main quest, timer and all (but earning 100 more days on top of what you already had). You can also do this in the rare event that you never talked to the merchant boss before and did not fix the water pump in Necropolis (ask about a water chip and continue from there). For a way to exploit this bug, see the Vault 13 section.
In v1.0 buying water from the Water Merchants shortened the other time limit (the mutant threat) by 90 days if it was currently at 100 days or more, but this isn't a factor any more.
In the room to the south of the Water Merchants office you'll see a round patch on the wall; this is actually a weird door which can be opened and closed. Scary.
Thorndyke, the guy who looks like a doctor in the building to the northwest, will heal 15-25 HP for free every 24 hours if you let him, and talk about Unity and war. The guard beside him doesn't have much to say (you can only talk to him once, too). By the door there's a boy trying to give you a Flower. You can keep asking him questions until he walks away. If you try to enter the room with the bookcase, the guard will stop you. You can do it by sneaking. Jain is the robed woman; talking to her does little.
IN<4: If you talk to Jain she'll attack.
Dispose of Jain.
Talk to Kane after finishing quest 2 to see Decker again. You get $1000 up front if you talk to Kane and $4000 and 700 xp more when you return after killing Jain in the hospital.
If you already killed Jain you get $1000 and 350 xp when you talk to Kane, but you must have finished the Hightower job successfully first.
Dispose of merchant.
Talk to Kane in the Maltese Falcon, and if you killed either Gizmo or Killian or if you're a Berserker then he'll offer the job right away. Otherwise you have to know who Decker is (ask Beth about places to avoid). Either drop Lorenzo's or Loxley's name (but deny you belong to the Thieves' Circle), or tell Kane it's not any of his concern why you want to see Decker (if you pass a Speech check he'll let you in, but even if you fail you can then talk to him again and tell him the secret was about a job, and then he'll take you to see Decker). If you accept the job you'll get $500 when you talk to Kane again upstairs. Go to the Heights and kill Hightower and his wife. You get $2500 and 600 xp when you return to Kane.
If you turn down a job from Decker, he'll kick you out and Kane will attack if you try to talk to him three times. In this quest and quest 1, if you forget to pick up your advance you'll still get it when you return after doing the job. Hey, honest crooks!
If you attack either of the Hightowers but leave the map without killing them, the rest of the outfit will disappear and Kane will be pissed. (Luckily they forget to pack the Necklace.) If you do this before getting the quest from Decker, you'll still get the quest but be unable to finish it. If you kill both Hightowers before talking to Kane, you won't get either of Decker's quests.
A slightly insignificant bug: if you antagonize Hightower's team you can pacify them by killing Dogmeat on the Heights map. Running onto the exit grid might be useful to end combat afterwards. The reason for the bug is that killing Dogmeat sets a map variable meant to let Phil know he can move back into his house in Junktown. This does not stop the Hightowers from leaving as described above.
Find the missing caravans.
This is a quest where you talk to a lot of people. Go to the Far Go Traders. Talk to Rutger, then Butch. Take the job. Talk to Rutger again for a lead. Talk to Beth and she'll tell you to talk to Harold and/or Slappy. Well, go east, talk to Harold (you can get away with not giving him any money) and then to Slappy. Ask him to take you to see the deathclaw (800 xp). Talk to the deathclaw... actually, no. Now that deathclaw has 225 HP, so bring a friend or some good weaponry, and don't be afraid to chomp Stimpaks (you'll have hundreds anyway). After you kill it, talk to the mutant scout to gain a Mutant Transmissions holodisk and a Radio (or just kill him for 300 combat xp and take the stuff). Talk to Butch and tell him just about anything, then talk to Rutger, tell him it was mutants and show him the holodisk, and you'll get $800 and 1000 xp. If you need to go back to the cave, Slappy will take you there if you didn't already kill the deathclaw.
In the unpatched version you reportedly got 800 xp every time you asked Slappy to take you to the cave.
Steal necklace from the Merchants.
In the building to the south of Vance's place you find a staircase going down. Pick the doors and try not to step on the floor traps. Loxley is another treasure trove of Mark O'Green goodness; ask him if you can join the Circle and accept the assignment. You get 900 xp right away, as well as 1 Lock Picks, 2 Flares and 1 Nuka-Cola from Jasmine. If you go to Hightower during the day, he'll just kick you out (though you can give him $100, yay). Wait until nightfall and return. Go to the southern corner of the house, wait until the guard walks away, then enter the house. There's a trap on the strongbox where the Necklace is found, but no one will notice if you set it off. After you have the Necklace, return to the Circle and collect a reward of 500 xp, $3000 and an Electronic Lock Pick. This concludes your dealings with the Thieves' Circle.
You can get the Necklace during the day if you want by taking advantage of the scripting. Open the door to Mr Hightower's office, then enter combat mode and take just three or four steps forward. As long as you're not standing directly inside the doorway Hightower won't react to your presence, so you can just take the Necklace and optionally talk to him on the way out.
By the way, Loxley and his gang are completely oblivious to Hightower being killed before, during or after your little raid.
If you don't pick up Jasmine's first batch o' stuff before delivering the Necklace you miss out on it.
"I am the bringer of death. Fall to your knees and beg for mercy... Or give me a sandwich, I'm pretty hungry."
--The Vault Dweller
You start out on a map with a derelict hotel. You can talk to a couple of ghouls, but it leads nowhere. The groaning ones will attack if you go too near; let them, and kill them. Once you're done, go down one of the three manholes.
Ghouls on all three Necropolis maps will react if you try to loot their containers. This isn't so much of a problem on the first and third map where you basically want to kill everyone anyway, but on the middle one you may want to put off the looting until you've finished your dealings with Set. Most ghouls may radiate you if they hit you, but it's just the odd point.
There are four rats below, and a Cattle Prod on one of the corpses to the southeast. Go north to the exit grid. Talk to the ghoul and get quest 2. If you go north and east you find more rats, and a Plasma Pistol on a corpse. Take either of the two ladders up. If you take the northern one you'll find yourself in a passage connecting two trapped hidden doors. If you set off the nearest trap a ghoul guard outside might get hurt, but he won't turn hostile.
You can use Traps or Lockpick repeatedly on either of the secret doors for 50 xp each time.
Find Set residing in his Hall of the Dead and talk to him to get quest 1. If you took the Water Chip but didn't repair the pump yet, he'll demand the chip (which will then return to the vault) or else you'll have to fight. Another option in this situation if you're carrying Junk is to offer to repair the pump; you'll then be teleported to the water shed along with Garret who won't like it if you try to leave without fixing the pump.
If you talk to Set after killing the Master, he will be so happy he'll give you 40 Small Energy Cell, 50 Micro Fusion Cell, 1 Buffout, 1 Mentats, 2 Stimpaks, 2 Frag Grenades, 2 Plasma Grenades, 2 Pulse Grenades, 200 5mm JHP and 200 5mm AP (talk to Garret to get the stuff). As if you needed that at this stage of the proceedings, as the ancient saw goes. You can ask him about the vats instead, but he doesn't mark the base on the map and you miss the stuff.
Optionally take out the ghoul gangers to the southeast of the church. Go into the sewers again and go north.
Find the ladder and go up. There are two more manholes on this map that will take you to a different part of the sewers; go down and fetch the Junk from the northeast corner. Above ground you'll also find two robed people from the Children who will heal you for money (HP and poison), and a bunch of super mutants. Harry is the only one who'll react to your presence. To pass him, tell him you're a ghoul or a robot, or if you're a woman and pass a CH check you can charm him (in either case Speech will be involved). Going to see "Lou" will teleport you to the Military Base, which is a shortcut you'd not want to take in a normal game. Once you kill any of the super mutants the Children stop with the healing, and two days after you've killed all the mutants they disappear.
Going to the Military Base takes 2 weeks according to the time limit and 4 weeks according to the calendar. If you already destroyed the base Harry will know and not try to take you there. Instead you can ask him what he's going to do about it and let him and his companions walk off the map. This counts as taking them out as far as quest 1 is concerned.
If you take the Junk back to the underground leader, he'll give you 3 Deans Electronics if your Repair is less than 60%.
You can get free healing from the Children by dropping all your money and agreeing to "donate all you can". There's a bug: if you try to haggle and then say you'll accept their price, you will exit dialogue and cannot talk to that person any more (the Junktown healer does not have this bug).
Each time you purchase healing from the Children, it lowers the Vault 13 invasion time limit by one day. Even if you're playing v1.0 this isn't a major problem.
You get 500 xp if you unlock the door to the cell with the ghoul in the same building as the mutants. Go down the manhole in the room next door, and down again. You'll have to fight two glowing ghouls. Enter the vault and take the elevator down. On level 2 there's nothing to do except fight some ghouls and take 2 Rad-X from a locker. On level 3 you can take the Water Chip by using the functional computer (if you're having problems, use Science first to get a bonus to your Repair check). You get 2500 xp for this minus 250 xp for each of the six super mutant guards you already killed. If you should have second thoughts, you can reinstall the chip by using it on the computer. Once you have the chip, the ghouls will sound threatening and attack if you didn't already fix the pump.
If you remove the Water Chip without fixing the pump, the ghouls in Necropolis will die of dehydration in seven days. If you enter the area 110 days after the start of the game (corresponding to 25 Mar 2162), or 30 days after killing all the super mutants at the watershed, and if the Master is still alive, the ghouls will be dead anyway (including the ones in the sewers, but not the ones in the vault) and there'll be three super mutant invaders on each of the three maps above ground. There's not so much to do about it except killing them. In the building with the ghoul gangers there'll be a refugee who can tell you what happened.
Note that for each of the three maps the conditions for dehydration and/or invasion are checked only when you enter it, potentially resulting in discontinuities: it's possible to take the chip and have the watershed and hotel maps dry up, then replace the chip and find the church ghouls thriving; or you could enter one map and encounter invaders, then go and kill the Master and return to find the rest of the ghouls alive.
Destroy the Super Mutants at the Watershed.
Talk to Set and don't piss him off. Kill the six super mutants (but not before getting the Water Chip). Return to Set during night hours and you'll get a reward from the fridge of... 4 Nuka-Cola, 4 Flare and $50. If Garret likes you you get $50, a Shotgun and 40 12 ga. Shotgun Shells instead, and if Garret really likes you you get both lesser rewards and $100 more (i.e. $200 in all). To get either of the good rewards you must have talked to Garret between 7.00 and 18.00 to get a reaction (high CH and karma help) but not bothered him overmuch after that. Except for the cash he takes the stuff directly from the fridge, so you cannot get more items by raiding it in advance. Afterwards you can piss Set off so you get to kill him and his bunch.
Fix the Necropolis water pump.
You get this after talking to the leader of the underground ghouls. Get the Junk from the sewers and use it on the machinery in the northeastern corner of the water shed. If you pass a Repair check you'll fix it and gain 1000 xp; if you fail critically you'll lose the Junk and suffer 1 point of damage. (If you use Science or Repair on the pump after you fix it it'll say it's broken; this can be ignored.) When you return to the ghoul leader you get no additional reward, but at least you saved all the poor thirsty ghouls. For a while.
"Wow. I wish I had a hot dog and a really long stick."
You'll probably be going here as a result of getting (or anticipating) Brotherhood quest 1. First of all, bring a Rope. Approaching the Glow in a curved path from the northeast is recommended if you're still on a time limit, because then you'll be travelling on plains during most of the journey.
The deal with the Glow is that you'll be exposed to radiation only on the actual Glow maps, but not anywhere on the world map (except for the occasional random encounter hot spot). So when you're going here, click on a nearby square just next to the Glow circle, take two Rad-X (or one if that gets you to 100% Radiation Resistance) and save if you like. Then leave to the world map, cross into the Glow square, and you should have plenty of time remaining of Rad-X duration. Another option is to press I for inventory as you're entering the map and then eat the pills; you'll absorb about 10 rems, but that isn't a lot and this way you'll have 24 hours of full protection. To be absolutely safe, don't read any books during your stay, don't use healing skills, and watch the clock if you do stuff like hack into computers or play chess.
On the outside map there's nothing to do except tie the Rope to the beam jutting out from the left side. Then use the rope and down you go. On level 1, loot everything, get the Brotherhood Tape and the Yellow Pass Key from the corpse in power armour, access the computer and turn on emergency power. Use the Yellow Pass Key on the elevator door to deactivate the trap (unless you'd rather use Traps and then Lockpick on the door for some minor xp). There are some floor traps, but there's basically nothing you can do about them. To the northeast there's a stuck door which can be opened if your ST is 8 or if the sum of your ST, AG and LK is at least 18.
If you get a critical failure while picking elevator doors in the Glow, you'll get the message that you broke your lockpicks even if you didn't use any. This can be ignored.
On level 2, shoot or smash the inert robots and get the Red Pass Key from a corpse to the northeast, then return to the elevator and go to level 3.
If you turn power off on level 2 or 3, you'll be able to go up using the elevator, but not back down again until you turn power back on.
On level 3, shoot the robots, loot stuff and use the Red Pass Key on the other elevator. Proceed to level 4 or 6.
On level 4, shoot the robots, loot the place and take the Blue Pass Key from the corpse. With IN 5 you can talk to Zax if you want, downloading some files. Once you activate primary power, you can access the option to deactivate the security bots (which come alive along with the power). Beware that a failed attempt at this will advance the clock by five hours, whereas a successful one only takes 10 minutes. Better save first, and a Science skill of at least 40% is recommended.
If the power is on and you have turned off the robots, you can use Science repeatedly on any one bot and gain 100 xp for each successful check.
According to the script you should be able to gain 700 xp by playing chess (each game takes two hours) and getting a critical success on an IN check. Since stat checks don't generate criticals this would seem to be broken, even though many claim to have done it (I blame the mushrooms). Playing chess does not make Zax "like you more" or anything like that.
When talking to Zax there's one dialogue option about countering FEV mutation with a counter-virus that you only get with IN 10. It doesn't do anything, but it might be fun to know it's the only line in Fallout with that requirement.
In the room above the mainframe you can find an alien skeleton behind a broken suspension tank, but it has nothing in it. It was meant to be part of a The X Files reference.
On level 6, shoot the robots, fix the generator (see quest 2) and loot stuff.
To get to level 5 (from level 4 or 6) you must first activate primary power to get the elevator working. This would normally activate the bots on level 5, but you can work around this by opening the elevator door, then turning power off, and entering the elevator anyway. Or you could deactivate them using Zax. You get 1000 xp just for reaching this floor, and there's a lot of good stuff here, including a Plasma Rifle, Minigun and Combat Armor.
Disarm Traps for the Facility.
This pops up once you deactivate the robots from Zax. There's no way of getting it crossed out.
Turn on power for the Glow.
Using Repair on the generator on level 6 and then turning on primary power will give you 1000 xp and access to level 5. You get one "free" shot at fixing the generator (using a Tool is recommended), after that you need Repair 36% to even try.
"Do I have to sacrifice a puppie to join?"
--The Vault Dweller
Arriving here you can talk to Cabbot and get quest 1, which is one way of getting inside. However, with a good Lockpick skill and an Electronic Lock Pick you can open the door and go in, and everyone will treat you like an initiate. You can pick the door without the Electronic Lock Pick, but then the guards will turn hostile.
IN<4: Talking to Darrel nets you a dose of Rad-X.
Inside you can talk to one of the guards by the entrance (and hit on her, though it won't lead anywhere). Go to the gym for some martial arts training, which will begin as soon as you enter the room. If you stay and watch you'll gain +5% Unarmed and +5% Melee Weapons in increments of one during the course of the session, and 500 xp if you got all five. Talk to Talus about equipment and you'll be able to check out Brotherhood Armor and three clips of a non-energy ammo type of your choice (he'll never give you any more ammo after that no matter how long you wait). Rhombus isn't much of a conversationalist and will kick you out of the bunker or attack you if you anger him. He can put the Hub and the Boneyard on your world map. Should you get kicked out, you can pick the door to get back in and no one will seem to remember that you were expelled (including Rhombus).
If you want to raid the large storeroom, which means you'll be at odds with the Brotherhood, one way is to unlock the door before turning the guards hostile. If you don't, you'll need an Electronic Lock Pick, since the guards inside will always initiate combat mode when you go near and prevent you from using your Lockpick skill on the door (but the Electronic Lock Pick can be used during combat). There's a lot of stuff to be found inside, including 2 Powered Armor, but you should have more than enough anyway and it's a pretty tough battle.
On level 2 you can raid the doctor's locker, get healed and de-radiated (for free) and perform weird surgery to increase some of your stats by 1 (for a price). Each operation also takes a lot of time, so check your calendar if you didn't deliver the Water Chip to your vault yet. Available options include:
ST: $2000, 3 weeks
PE: $4000, 1 week
EN: $3000, 1 week
IN: $6000, 3 weeks
AG: $5000, 3 weeks
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.
IN<4: You get the IN operation for $3000 and it only takes one week, but you don't get to choose any of the others (unless your IN went above 3, of course). If you want to keep your game stupid but still get the other stat rises, you'll have to use Mentats (one for each operation).
You can in fact get two IN rises, as long as you get the "smart" one first. Then use Psycho to lower your IN below 4 and talk to Lori to get the "stupid" rise. This would be a form of bug exploitation.
Depending on your current stats the EN and AG rises may do nothing except raise a few skills a little. On the other hand, you won't find many other places in the game where you can spend all the cash you've looted and traded for, and after you deliver the chip time doesn't matter much, either.
On level 3 you can talk to Kyle about power armour and agree to get a systolic motivator. You can get one from Michael if you bluff him and don't mention Kyle. Another one is kept in the locker in Rhombus' quarters. To get it, rest until Rhombus goes into the back room, then take one of these approaches:
If you have an NPC, let them open the door by wandering so you can go through.
If you are alone you can open the door without Rhombus noticing so long as he never caught you before.
With a high Sneak skill and no followers you can open both the door and the locker quietly in Sneak mode.
Continuously enter combat mode, starting outside the door and getting away with the loot before Rhombus can even get moving.
If he heard you opening the locker, get the part and do any of the following:
Put it in a bag or give it to an NPC; in this case you'll still have it after Rhombus throws you out of the room.
Drop it on the ground and return for it once Rhombus is back in his bedroom.
Hit A to enter combat mode as soon as you leave the loot interface and run out of the room before Rhombus sees you.
If Rhombus catches you with the part it'll be returned to the locker (along with the part from Michael if you already got that!). Once you have the motivator, give it to Kyle (he'll give you a Deans Electronics) and use Repair or a Tool on the suit on the table. With a successful Repair check you get 500 xp and a set of Powered Armor. If you fail the check you need Repair 75% to try again.
IN<4: If you're stupid and get caught by Rhombus, you'll enter a loop where Rhombus initiates dialogue and says the same thing over and over. To get out of this, hold down the A key and move away.
Also on level 3 you can talk to Sophia for a Brotherhood History disk if you want, and talk to Vree and ask about the mutants for a Vree's Experiment Disk, which could be very useful later on (you can also steal one from her). If you ask her about radiation she'll give you a dose of Rad-X, and if you ask about holodisks and computer skills she'll give you access to a computer which will raise your Science skill by 15%. Better raise it to 91% using books before that, but it matters little really.
Vree won't talk to you if you get a bad reaction. Evil characters may be able to soften her up with Cult of Personality, which is about how useful that perk ever gets. You'd need to have the perk before talking to her for the very first time, though, and it's not available until level 12. Make sure she doesn't get blocked as she goes to the learning terminal, or you won't be able to use it.
On level 4 you can talk to Maxson and offer to scout the north for signs of the mutant threat. If you ask for weaponry then Mathia (a person of indeterminate gender) will let you choose between the following:
1 Sniper Rifle
1 Rocket Launcher
1 Laser Pistol
1 Power Fist
You can also ask for $500 or $1000 and get it if you have good Barter (if not Maxson will throw you out), and you can in fact do this as many times as you want (why is it that this game presents you with so many opportunities to be greedy, when there are so few ways of spending the dough?). Once you've been to the Military Base (you can make a quick trip, enter the map and leave, preferably without your NPCs), return and tell him about the mutants for 1500 xp. (If you already blew up the base and tell him that instead you don't get the xp, but in that case just talk to him again and choose one of the other lines.) Next tell him the Brotherhood should attack the base, go talk to the Elders and you get 1500 xp again plus three Brotherhood paladins for when you return to the Military Base.
The dialogue path where you first hesitate to take the scouting mission and then ask for $1000 is bugged, so that first of all you get the money if you fail a Barter check, and secondly you get $500 or $1000 this way depending on whether or not you asked for $1000 before (as long as you asked for $1000 at least once and passed the first Barter check to get to the "Take it or leave it" node, the $1000 flag will be set).
If you've already blown up the base when you get sent to talk to the Elders, you don't get their xp and there'll be another infinite dialogue bug. Enter combat mode to get out of this situation.
Become an Initiate.
Cabbot will put the Glow on your world map, and the other knight will tell you about the radiation. Go there and pick up the Brotherhood Tape, return and give it to Cabbot for 2000 xp and access to the Brotherhood.
Rescue Initiate from the Hub.
This one will be crossed out after you free the prisoner in the Hub even if you didn't get it yet. Talus on level 1 will give it to you if you ask for more firepower, but this isn't necessary. Talk to him after you rescue the prisoner to collect a reward of 1500 xp and one of the following:
1 Rocket Launcher
1 Laser Pistol
1 Super Sledge
1 Powered Armor
You'll only be offered the Powered Armor if your karma is 16 or higher. You'll probably want to go for the Powered Armor even if you have one, since you can get the other stuff anyway and the armour has the highest trade value (you'll be able to buy lots of books from Mrs Stapleton if you didn't already). Talk to Michael nearby to collect your reward.
A glitch: if you ask for your first ammo and armour requisition after getting this reward but before checking it out from Michael, you'll only get two ammo clips instead of three. This is because the requisition sets the number of items to be checked out to four, instead of increasing it by four.
IN<4: Although Talus will know if you rescued the prisoner, you can't get the reward or the xp unless you get smart.
"What do you want?"
--Avellone and the Vault Dweller
When you first come here you'll be accosted by the Adytum guards. If you go down the manhole in the shack by the entrance you'll find Tine the merchant, but he doesn't have anything of notice. Different inventory on the two tables. Talking to Sammael or Lorraine yields some info. Talk to Chuck in his tent and let him give you tarot readings. He'll give you from one to three readings for locations: the Brotherhood (if you have never had anyone mark it on your map), the Military Base (if you have not been there or found its location in the Cathedral vault), and finally the Cathedral (always). Next time after that he'll draw the Fool and your Luck will go up permanently by 1. Don't mock him after a reading or he won't tell your fortune again.
You can take out Tine and grab all his stuff without alerting anyone. His stuff will be slightly cheaper if you use the tables instead of talking to him directly.
There's a way to get 2 points of Luck from Chuck, though it could be considered taking advantage of a glitch. When you first talk to him, choose the last line and get a reading. When getting the rest of the readings, just ask for advice and don't ask him what he does. Once you get your LK rise, you can talk to him again and you'll still have the option to ask what he does and get another reading (and another LK rise).
If you use a Motion Sensor on the Adytum underground map before the great battle, you'll see nine red dots in an unreachable part of the map. These are the Blades which appear during and after the battle.
After you deliver the hydroponic parts (quest 2) you can get some upgrades here. Take a Plasma Rifle to Smitty and he'll turn it into a Turbo Plasma Rifle, one of the best weapons in the game. Remember to unload the rifle first and you'll get some free ammo. Talk to Smitty with a suit of Powered Armor and he'll ask for some Chemistry Journals from the Hub. Stapleton will charge $750 for them. Return to Miles and he'll turn your armour into Hardened Power Armor.
Mayor Zimmerman will ask you to go north and kill Razor of the Blades. If you do this and return you get $2000, or $2500 if you say you made her suffer. There's a better way to handle this. Talk to Razor, choose the "sensible" dialogue choices (it's all rather transparent really) and you'll find out the Regulators are crooks. Offer to talk to Zimmerman and you get a Regulator Transmisson holodisk (if you didn't take Zimmerman's job you can get this if you ask Razor what the Blades are defending themselves against). However, what the Blades need is weaponry.
There's a dialogue bug here: if you talked to Zimmerman before talking to Razor but did not accept his quest, Razor will accuse you of killing the Gun Runners and you don't get the option to ally yourself with the Blades. This is easily fixed, though: just return to Zimmerman and accept the quest and you'll be able to confront Razor normally.
If you take out the Regulators all by yourself and return to Razor you get 500 xp. If you go and play back the Regulator Transmission holodisk to Zimmerman, the Regulator standing next to him will blow him away, triggering a fight between the Regulators and your team. You can then run back to Razor and she'll ask you again to get the Blades some weapons.
Go east to the abandoned warehouse area. There'll be two or three deathclaws here, which you can kill for 1000 combat xp each. After you rest for one hour, you can leave the map and return and there'll be new ones. Killing lots of deathclaws is one way of getting enough xp to reach level 21 in this game. In the northern corner of the building you'll find a staircase. When you're fed up with killing deathclaws for xp (you'd have to kill more than eighty just to get from level 12 to level 18; a middle way might be to advance to a point (say, level 15) where you can expect to reach level 18 before the game is over), go down and kill the deathclaw mother and all the eggs (important). Doing this will stop any more deathclaws from spawning. You can pick up one Lock Picks and one Club from the floor of the darkened basement, yay.
Go east again to the Gun Runners and tell the guard you want to trade. If for some reason you don't want to talk to him, you can cross the thin patch of goo to the northeast, but unless you have a good AG you may take lots of damage (and your NPCs might too!). Powered Armor won't protect you against the goo, only alleviate the damage.
The Gun Runners will be hostile if you fought the Blades.
IN<4: You can't get the guard to let you pass, so you'll have to jump the moat (R.I.P. Dogmeat). Because of odd scripting, however, you'll be able to talk to Zack and Gabriel as if you were of normal intelligence.
Talk to Gabriel and he'll give you the task of exterminating the deathclaws. Once you have, you get 1000 xp and a reward. If you talked to Razor you can ask for weapons for the Blades, otherwise you can only ask for weapons for yourself, whereupon the guards blocking the lockers will move so you can loot them (booty includes 2 Plasma Rifles). Zack will give you a discount of about 15% when you've agreed to kill the deathclaws, and a discount of about 20% when you're done. If you want to convert items into cash, then Zack's your man since he will have $3000-4000 every time you talk to him. Even with a dismal CH and Barter your stuff should be worth more than his once you get the best discount, so you can basically help yourself to any ammo or weapon of his that you need.
If you asked for weapons for yourself, you can leave the map and return (the wandering guards will stop wandering), then talk to Gabriel again. He'll act as if he never rewarded you for killing the deathclaws, and you get another 1000 xp. You can do this any number of times until you tell him to give weapons to the Blades.
There's a slight glitch with Zack's second discount: if you already got the first one, you'll only get a 10% discount if you trade with him immediately after getting the second one. If you leave conversation and talk to him again you should get the full 20%.
Return to Razor after the Blades have their weapons. You can decline to help free Adytum, in which case the Regulators will disappear and you get 2000 xp if you enter the Adytown map. You can offer to help, in which case you're teleported to Adytum and a fight breaks out between the Regulators and everyone else. Note that important people like Miles and Smitty can die in this fight, so do everything else first. Once the battle is over you get 2000 xp. Thirdly you can tell Razor you want to talk to Zimmerman before the attack. If you show him the holodisk he'll be killed as before, the eight armed Blades will appear, and you fight as normal and get the 2000 xp afterwards. Once the Regulators are defeated you can go to MacRae of the Blades and ask for training, but this doesn't seem to do anything. Also talk to Michael in the Blades building and he'll hand you 4 Stimpaks and a random amount of money, $10-100.
You can effectively pause the war by leaving the Adytum map. If you return and are spotted by a Regulator it'll start again, with everyone's allegiance still the same.
The game has been known to crash when the war ends and the Blades are taken off the map. If you want to be safe, save the game in a new slot as that moment draws near.
If you start the war by attacking the mayor or the invading Blades, the Regulators won't attack you until the fight ends, but once it does they'll turn hostile. Likewise, Zimmerman will turn hostile after the fight if you manage to keep him safe from the Regulators, but the townspeople don't care if you kill him.
Don't go to talk to Zimmerman after getting the weapons and talking to Razor if you don't have the holodisk. If you don't have the disk you can't trigger the invasion, and Razor will disappear from the Blades map (leaving a ghostly corpse) after you've reported to her that you got the weapons. This means you can't get the 2000 xp for the invasion or even the 500 xp for taking out the Regulators yourself, although the Adytowners will help with the fight.
Someone suggested you should plant weapons on the Adytowners before the big fight, to make them more efficient fighters. Although this is a little too much work for me, it's a pretty innovative use of Steal (which has little quest use except for planting the Bug on Gizmo). Note that each villager needs the animation frames used for the weapons you give them.
Michael is bugged so you can talk to him over and over again to get the reward.
As far as I can tell from his script MacRae is supposed to give you +1 Melee Damage and +5% Damage Resistance. Don't see any particular reason why it shouldn't work, but it doesn't; presumably the engine just doesn't allow for these stats to be raised this way. Interestingly enough, virtually every other walkthrough states you can get an Unarmed and/or Melee Weapons bonus if your skill level is below 91%. Apparently not one of them bothered to actually check this.
On the Followers map there's a house with bounty hunters to the northwest. They'll attack on sight only if you're a Childkiller, or you can provoke them into attacking if you choose the "donut" answer twice. Hey, "Christopher Avellone" sounds eerily familiar.
If you talk to Nicole and ask for help with the Children of the Cathedral, you'll get a secret code phrase and some fighters to help you out later. This isn't necessary and will hinder a stealthy approach to that area (i.e. as diversions go it's pretty awful), but you can't get one without the other.
Don't bother searching any of the bookcases, they're empty. You can get Katja for an NPC if you ask her what's around the city and tell her you don't plan to stay very long. This is worth 200 xp and not much more. Katja is in fact the only person in the game who'll put the Cathedral on the world map. If you talk to Talius the ghoul in the Followers basement (he has some interesting information by which the Vault Dweller is strangely unmoved) and inform him you killed the mutants in Necropolis, you get a Flamer; if you instead ask how you can help with the mutant army and offer to kill them, you get 20 Flamethrower Fuel along with the Flamer.
IN<4: Talius will give you 3 Mentats.
Find Children spy in the Followers.
You get this if you accuse Talius of being a spy, and then offer to find the "real" spy. Only there is no such spy in the game, so you can pretty much forget about this quest. This is only one of several Boneyard quests that were never implemented. After you get the quest you can't talk to Talius any more, so get the Flamer first.
Fix hydroponic farms in Adytum.
Talk to Miles the scientist and get the job to bring back the hydroponic parts from the Deathclaws' Playground. Go there and get the parts from the corpse (or from the ground in case the body has decomposed). Return to Miles. If you agree to take the parts to Smitty and back your reward will be 5 Stimpaks and $250. If you don't want to go to Smitty and expect a reward you get 3 Stimpaks and $125. If you don't go but don't ask for a reward you get 4 Stimpaks and $150.
"There is a bad place where the bad mutants come from. It is bad. Vault is good. Please, go destroy bad place."
There are four mutant guards around outside the base. If you want to lure three of them away, you can use a Radio, which brings up a dialogue. Say you're being attacked or fell down or something, and you get 1500 xp for tricking the mutants. If they ask for your coordinates, reply with "Four miles, south-southwest". You can attack the three as they're walking off after you got the xp, if you want.
If you convinced the Brotherhood to attack the base, there will be three "crack assault paladins" around. They're pretty useless - with decent weapons and armour you can take out the few guards yourself, and the paladins for some reason won't follow you inside the base. If you leave this map and return, they'll be here.
To get in, you can pick the door (easier with an Electronic Lock Pick, but can be done without it), or examine the Tape carried by the door guard which will provide you with an entry code. Another way to get in is to talk to the mutants (put away your weapon) and agree to meet their boss, which will teleport you to the Lieutenant. If they address you but you don't want to go with them you can bluff them, which is easier if you're wearing Robes. Bringing NPCs is just fine, all the way down to level 4.
Katja can pick the door for you after you've tried to open it.
If you load a saved game where you're standing close to a super mutant, they may attack you immediately even if they weren't hostile before. You may be able to avoid this by pressing A as you're loading and running away in combat mode.
If any fight outside or inside the base goes on for more than 2 rounds it will trigger the alarm, which you can tell by the flashing red lights. This will change the positions of super mutants on levels 1-3 slightly and make them attack you on sight, and also activate the yellow forcefields. Some replies you can give to mutant guards will instantly put the base on alert as well.
In the room to the right, use Science on the computer that isn't a "Mach IV" to turn it on. Use it (hand icon) until you break the security systems for 800 xp (this is actually a Gambling check, if you can believe it). Using Science on it again to disable the forcefields doesn't do anything (bug). If you use a Radio on this computer (even if you didn't hack it) and pass a Repair check, you can then use the Radio (put it in an active item slot, or it'll work horribly slowly) to toggle all yellow forcefields except on level 4. You can also temporarily disable (or enable) the yellow ones by using Repair on the emitter, or disable them permanently with explosives. Unfortunately you can't do either to the red ones, and they'll damage you for some 10-30 HP depending on what armour you're wearing (so Dogmeat is fried unless you use the yellow ones to lock him up).
In the other room with computers there's another one you can do stuff with if you use Science on it. Fiddling with robot movement or sensors does nothing. Setting pest control to "all", "small" or "large" will kill three mutants which are sometimes found on level 1 in the radio room, sometimes on level 2 in the room with the ammo lockers. By the way, all the box containers on this level and the next are empty. If the alarm is on the bots will start to wander, and may very well fry themselves by walking back and forth through the red forcefield.
On level 2 there's basically just stuff, stuff, stuff. You can kill the guard at the medical supplies room without alerting the others. The mutant named Abel was supposed to open the nearby forcefield if you provoke him, but it doesn't work and you can't even talk to him from behind the forcefield, plus to get there when the fields are on you'd have to know how to disable them on your own anyway, so I don't know what they were thinking there.
On level 3 there's a hall of traps, but they're only active if the alarm has gone off (NPCs are in for some trouble in that case). Having a high Traps skill will let you avoid them, but you can't actively disarm them. Once you're past the first yellow forcefield you'll need to wear Robes unless you want to be attacked or taken to the Lieutenant. The elevator on the right cannot be made to work.
On level 4 you get 2000 xp if you arrived here without setting off the alarm or being taken to the Lieutenant. Yay. Go to Mr Handy to the south, use Repair on it, then Science. It'll scoot off to clean up the control room to the north, and end up blowing up the forcefield emitter for which you get 1000 xp. Drops some stuff, too.
In the control room, use Science or a Security Card (steal it off the technicians) on the control computer to gain access to some logs and self-destruct sequences. The encrypted commands will do, from top to bottom: 60-second countdown, 270 seconds, setting off the alarm, 300 seconds, 300 seconds, and 1 second (that is a bad idea). If you do a little hacking you get to see what you're choosing from, but note that all of the countdowns are actually "silent", and the times don't all match what the interface says. You can also use a computer to the right labelled "Force Field Controls", which will activate the alarm, turn off the yellow forcefields on the upper levels, and prevent the robots from initiating combat (the latter two effects end if you do anything else that would set off the alarm, and the forcefields can be toggled as usual). Blowing up the control computer with Dynamite will trigger the countdown (300 seconds), but also the alarm.
If you've killed the Lieutenant, the technicians will explode as you talk to them! This also happens if you already killed the Master and say you feel good about it. Killing any technician triggers the alarm even if you do it "silently".
Blowing up the computer will halve the time remaining on the invasion time limits for the Hub, Shady Sands and Vault 13. Note that this has no real effect on the game - except if you forgot to apply the patch... Setting the self-destruct sequence, or damaging the computer after triggering the self-destruct, does not have this effect.
On the right side of this map you finally meet the Lieutenant. If you move just one hex around the corner, he and VanHagan/VanHaggen will start a conversation. Stand still until they're done and you gain 1000 xp. If you weren't ever "captured" by a mutant, the Lieutenant will attack you on sight. In this case, just waste everyone and everything and take their stuff.
If you were taken here, however, you'll have a little chat and he'll ask you to reveal the location of Vault 13. Doing so will end the game (badly, although you get to see a movie sequence). If you refuse, he'll hit you three times and take away most of your current HP (but not kill you, even if you had 1 HP to begin with), then have you stripped of all equipment and thrown into a cell on level 3 (your stuff will be in the locker in the guard room on the same floor). You can pick the door and play from there; your NPCs will still have whatever stuff was stashed on them. If you return to the Lieutenant he'll attack.
If you don't fancy being hit, you can actually move away while the Lieutenant is walking up to you. (Better do this while you still have your equipment.) If you run away far enough, he'll stop and you can play "normally" from there. By the way, the Lieutenant has a special (and rather nice) death sequence.
Once you feel like it you should start the self-destruct sequence and head for the surface (300 seconds should be more than enough) and run to the exit grid to the world map. You'll get 10,000 xp for destroying the vats (Vault 13 quest 3), and if you already killed the Master you've finished the game - see the end of the next section.
Any NPCs or items left on the entrance map will be lost once the game switches to the "ruins" map.
"What do you want?"
"To see a valley filled with my enemies' heads mounted on spears. A silent valley, except for the wind whistling through their ears."
--Thug and the Vault Dweller
There's a lot of people outside the Cathedral but none of them can give you anything but general info. Well, Calder gives you a Flower, and the thug and the zombie offer lots of great conversation options to Berserkers (wear Robes to talk to the thug). Inside in one of the rooms to the left you find Laura. If you talked to Nicole and got the secret codeword you can talk to her about stuff and she'll open the first locked door for you.
If you asked Nicole for help there'll also be four warriors from the Followers milling about. Unlike the Brotherhood paladins at the Military Base these'll follow you everywhere inside the church and vault as well. If you leave the Cathedral area and enter any other map, they'll disappear for good - normally, that is. If you press and hold A while the new map is loading, their disappearance (heralded by a floating message) will most often not have a chance to trigger. By holding A and moving around in combat mode you could theoretically bring this private army to fight for you anywhere (they will, for instance, happily kill Nicole and their fellow Followers), but they'll eventually go away (unless you return to the Cathedral). Two glitches are related to this. Firstly, if their disappearance triggers but they don't have time to actually vanish before you enter combat, they will turn invisible in the first combat round but remain to fight for you in that battle only, occasionally turning briefly visible (enemies will be able to target them). Secondly, even if they all die, their usual float will appear after you end combat and their corpses will vanish.
There's a kind of shop on the right. The stuff is slightly cheaper if you click barter instead of going through the dialogue, as if that matters at this point. To get the inventory after killing the storekeep, use Steal on the table. Dr Wu will give you invectives instead of healing. If you talk to Lasher he can give you a red COC Badge if you say you want to see the man in charge and ask for a way to pass the Nightkin, or tell him "Thank you, sir"; if you say you have questions and then that you must see Morpheus, he says he's giving you a badge but you don't get one (bug). Lasher will attack if you're holding a weapon, or if you're a Berserker or Childkiller. Ton and Sister Francis are useless, but you can barter a red COC Badge off them for about $7.
The door to the stairwell can be opened with good Lockpick, or with a red COC Badge, or if you ask Laura to do it (even if you stole her badge). The door to the staircase going down can be opened with a black COC Badge or with a very good Lockpick skill (100%). If you desperately need some Robes at this point, you can go to the shop and stand in the corner, then kill the shopkeeper. Once you manage to end combat after killing everyone that comes running (maybe one or two people), no one will remember. Party members will complicate this.
The dog standing behind the cathedral is Interplay veteran Vince DeNardo's dog Sasha doing a cameo. There's no way to get there.
On the first floor you'll encounter Dane and a couple of ethereal-looking Nightkin. You can talk to Dane until he calms down and then you'll get some less-than-completely-calm info from him. If any of the Nightkin sees you, they'll attack if you have any company (NPCs or the Followers); if you're alone, you must be wearing Robes or carrying a COC Badge to be safe. Fighting on one floor will not turn people elsewhere in the Cathedral hostile. This also means that if you leave combat by moving to another floor, critters will not necessarily attack when you return.
The Nightkin's "stealth" effect appears to be purely cosmetic. It doesn't affect your chance to hit them or to hit anything behind them, and as pointed out by Locutus, trying to steal from the ones in the tower makes them completely visible.
Dane's ravings are badly scripted, so that each time you talk to him (even when you're asking him questions) you'll only see the last line of what are in actuality several. Hit the review button if you want to see the others. It actually does make more sense that way.
On the second floor you find some sentries and stuff. On the third floor there's Morpheus. If you talk to him you can reveal your identity as the Vault Dweller and he'll take you to the Master, which could be useful in a pacifist game. Otherwise, kill him and you'll gain a black COC Badge and 1000 xp as well. Here you'll find the one-of-a-kind Tesla Armor. It could theoretically be used in combat with enemies with energy weapons, but I'd just leave it.
Going with Morpheus triggers a potential bug: if you fight your way out (optionally killing Morpheus before he can disappear), leave to the upper levels of the vault and return, another Morpheus and two more mutants will spawn in the Master's chamber. In fact, you can create infinite Morpheuses (each worth 1000 xp, but he doesn't have anything on him) and mutants by leaving and entering the map repeatedly. This only stops once you take the stairway up to the cathedral. You can then go to the top of the tower and the "real" Morpheus will be there.
In the basement there's a secret door to the far right. Using Lockpick or Traps successfully on the bookcase next to it reveals a secret lever; use the bookcase and the door will open. Else you could wait for a while and Jeremiah shows up. If you're alone and wearing Robes he will ignore you (you can chat with him if you like); if you're not, you can either fight him or let him kick you out of the cathedral. If you have NPCs or Follower invaders, you can stand near the secret door and they'll step through it eventually, opening it. Lastly, if all else fails, you can open the secret door with explosives. If you're on the inside you can open it manually like any other door.
From this point on, you'll be attacked if you're not wearing Robes or if you have any follower. If you talk your way past the two guards by the vault door you gain 750 xp. You earn 1250 xp if you use Science on the computer just inside and gain the location of the Military Base (even if you have it). You can also get this from the computers on level 2.
The first time you enter the basement between 7.00 and 18.00 there will be three additional monsters in the cavern. If you leave the map without killing them (except to go to the level immediately below) they disappear.
Take the elevator to level 2. If you talk to Gideon of the wackos with IN 8 and ask about protection from the Master he'll give you a Psychic Nullifier and you gain 1000 xp. (There is another path through this dialogue for those with modest Intelligence, but it requires you to be a Berserker, and to make and fail Speech checks.) You can also steal it from a wacko of your choice. Use the console to free the prisoners to the south and you get 2000 xp (chuckle). One of them is a boy who won't show up in the European versions; killing him as he goes past does not make you a Childkiller. You can talk to the scientists and guards if you want.
On level 3 you may run into Jeremiah again if you didn't kill him; don't talk to him, or he'll attack. (Amusingly, you can escape into the elevator to level 1 and wait for him to appear there, and he won't remember anything.) Viscious the wandering mutant will attack if you have a weapon in your active item slot. There'll also be a bunch of cute robots saying "Peace to you" if you talk to them. Right. There's quite a lot of weaponry and ammo on this level. By opening a lot of locked doors you can take the elevator on the left down to level 4 where there's nothing but an atom bomb. Kewl. To set it off, use Science (70% needed), Lockpick (70% Repair needed, though the skill check is for Lockpick) or the Key from the Military Base on the console. Needless to say, tampering with the computer will disturb the guards, and using Sneak doesn't seem to help. Once you arm the bomb you have four minutes to leave the cathedral - just keep your Robes on and no one will disturb you.
The first time you enter level 3 between 7.00 and 18.00 there will be four extra super mutants on the left, who disappear once you go back up to level 1 or 2. Leaving the map also causes the disappearance of the two super mutants in the room with the techs (the game removes all critters using that prototype).
Back to level 3 (and let's not mess with the bomb for now). When you enter the corridor of flesh to the right, you'll need a Psychic Nullifier in your inventory or the Mental Block perk, or you'll suffer up to six mental attacks (you're more vulnerable with a high PE, so Booze will protect too, sort of). The first three only deal damage, more if you have a high PE. The fourth will deal more damage, give you a crippled eye (can be healed as usual) and lower your PE permanently by 1. The fifth will only deal significant damage if you're a Berserker and/or a Childkiller, but will lower your IN permanently by 1. The sixth doesn't deal any damage, but will lower your IN and PE yet again by 1 permanently (which is bad enough). Your NPCs if you have any will also take increasing amounts of damage, always more if you're a Berserker or Childkiller, and what's more they won't be protected by Mental Block, although they'll be completely safe if you have the Psychic Nullifier (which means that they all picked up one too, I suppose). Sweet innocent Dogmeat is unaffected, though. Once you've been through the corridor you won't be hit again if you go back.
At the end of the corridor is the Master, and it's here you end up if you went with Morpheus (the latter will also spawn two extra super mutants in the room). There are three things that can happen: you join the Master, you fight him, or you expose the flaw in his plan. Joining him will lead to the invasion end movie.
It's also possible to threaten the Master with the Brotherhood and he's supposed to let you go, but immediately initiates dialogue again and turns hostile instead.
The "diplomatic" solution demands that you carry or have read Vree's autopsy report and that you have IN 7 and good Speech to get all the dialogue options (there's always Mentats). Get the Master to tell you of his plan, say he's got a problem, and then either show him the disk (if you have it), or tell him to ask his female mutants. There are several dialogue paths that lead to combat, so take care. If you succeed, you'll leave dialogue and the 4-minute bomb countdown starts.
If you fight the Master he'll have 500 HP, an assortment of laser miniguns, and twelve mutants spawning from the fleshy corridor at a rate of one every other turn (every fourth turn if combat difficulty is set to wimpy). If you have Hardened Power Armor and good weaponry, this may not be a problem. Once the Master dies, the usual countdown starts. Here are some strategies:
With a ranged weapon like the Turbo Plasma Rifle you can fire and then dodge behind one of the pillars, so the Master can't shoot back.
The two floating eyes won't join the fight unless fired upon. You can position yourself behind one of them so that the Master hits it when he shoots at you next. Both robots will then attack the Master, and if you go behind a pillar you can take care of incoming mutants while the robots finish the Master, who won't fight back.
Any NPC can be used in a similar way; the Master won't attack them directly. (I've had Katja with one floating eye to either side, all three of them pummelling away at the stupidly staring Master.)
If you're an HtH fighter you can stand behind a pillar, enter combat mode and run up to the Master, then let him initiate dialogue and combat. With a little luck you can get him and the mutants to fire at each other as you stand there hitting him repeatedly. Powered Armor is crucial to survival, of course.
With a Sniper Rifle you can stand halfway down the corridor and shoot at the Master from outside his weapons' range. Beware the super mutants who will spawn right in your face, though.
Someone had the idea of dropping lots of explosives next to the Master and running away. The idea of doing this with a stupid character appealed to me, so I tried it; unfortunately 7 Dynamites and 7 Plastic Explosives left him with some 15-20 HP to spare. Only one pack of explosives will go off each turn, and you'll have to deal with the mutants spawning from the corridor in the meantime.
Energy gunners can take a Gatling Laser from a locker on this level and apply at point blank range. Good criticals can score more than 450 points of damage.
There's a glitch here you can take advantage of: if you save and then load the game, any spawned mutants will have disappeared (and still count towards the maximum of twelve). Corpses from killed ones remain.
A quick way to get out once the bomb is armed is to remove your Robes and talk to Jeremiah on level 1, if he's around, and let him kick you out. This only works if you didn't talk to him before, and requires IN 7 and a couple of Speech checks if you accost him in the vault section (the "suspicious character" thread). It takes two minutes to leave the Cathedral this way, though, so watch the timer.
Regardless of whether you make it out or not before the countdown expires, you get to see the explosion movie. If you made it out to the world map, you gain 10,000 xp (for solving Vault 13 quest 2), and if you already destroyed the vats, that means you've finished the game.
Any NPCs or items left on the entrance map will be lost once the game switches to the "ruins" map.
After being treated to various endings (see the following section), you're teleported to the Vault 13 cavern in front of the vault door. Presently the Overseer shows up and says you have to leave the vault forever. Bastard. If your character is a Berserker or Childkiller, or has the Bloody Mess perk or low karma (-2 or less), you'll automatically draw a gun (in fact a 10mm Pistol is newly created for you) and shoot the Overseer as he's walking away. If you don't, and want to kill him anyway, you can press A for combat mode as soon as dialogue ends, then grab your favourite weapon and let him have it. After that, credits.
Note that you gain 10 karma when leaving the exploding cathedral and 5 karma when leaving the exploding base (having already gained 5 when starting the countdown). Also to slay the Overseer the violence setting must be at normal or maximum blood.
Jos Vos notes: "If you shoot the Overseer at the end and try to walk away in combat mode, the game will take over control but do nothing." This freeze happens if you're still in combat mode at the end of the first round, so make sure to kill the Overseer in one round and hit end combat.
So you thought killing the Overseer was funny? Here's an additional twist: use the moment you have before he appears to turn your character in another direction. When the times comes to shoot, your character will fire the gun in the direction he or she is currently facing, and the Overseer still gets hit! That's gunmanship. It's also possible to use this time to run to the world map (if you manage to click on the exit grid before the game takes control away from you, you'll get away). Now you can continue playing the game as long as you don't return to the Vault 13 cave map. When you come back here, another Overseer will appear next to the first one! You only get to shoot one of them, though. He's worth 250 xp, by the way...
If you're thinking of playing the game again (of course you should), here are a few suggestions:
Play a pure HtH fighter if you didn't already, or play a cold-blooded sniper if you didn't already.
Play a character with IN less than 4.
Play a game where you pick up all four major NPCs and dedicate yourself to keeping them alive for as long as humanly possible.
Play a bastard, choosing all the nasty one-liners, getting into fights everywhere and killing townspeople. Clean out the Brotherhood!
Play a "pacifist" game, don't build any weapon skill and don't kill anyone or anything.
Play a "role-playing" game, where you do and say only the things you figure a person realistically would have.
Build a "theme character", for instance tagging Sneak and Steal and then choosing "ninja perks" like Ghost, Pickpocket and Silent Death. No, wait. Don't do that.
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.
"Excuse me while I gloat..."
--The Vault Dweller
You always get the first bit about the Master being killed, the vats destroyed and the mutant army driven east. (In fact there are two different endings depending on whether the game thinks you destroyed the Cathedral or the Military Base first. But the two have been mixed up.) After that you get the local endings described below - all of them which are applicable, even if you never went there. Note that there are ways not to get an ending at all for certain locations, for instance if you kill both Killian and Gizmo in Junktown. The invasion endings in Necropolis and Shady Sands take precedence to the others. Damaging the control computer in the Military Base affects the time limits for the Hub and Shady Sands, but does not in itself trigger the related endings.
Mutant attack: Enter Necropolis after 110 days have passed or 30 days after killing all the super mutants at the watershed.
Dehydration: Take the chip, don't fix the pump.
Maintain water pump: Take the chip, fix the pump.
There are two similar pictures for Necropolis, one bluish with lit streetlights for ending 3, one brownish for endings 1-2.
Ending 2 checks only whether there is a water source in Necropolis at the end of the game. You can take the chip, wait until the ghouls are dead and visit all the maps, and then put the chip back or repair the pump to avoid the ending. Having killed the Master does not prevent the invasion ending from triggering.
Killed by mutants: Enter the Blades map (not the Followers map) after 90 days have passed.
New California Republic: Don't kill Aradesh or Tandi.
Aradesh grieves Tandi: Kill Tandi but not Aradesh.
Tandi takes over: Kill Aradesh but not Tandi.
Burned by raiders: Kill Aradesh and Tandi.
Razed by mutants: Enter Shady Sands after 230 days have passed.
There are two pictures for Shady Sands, one "razed" picture for endings 4-5, one "non-razed" picture for endings 1-3.
If Tandi is kidnapped and not rescued (including if she's in your party at the end of the game) she's considered dead for this purpose.
Killian takes control: Kill Gizmo but not Killian.
Gizmo profits and chokes on iguana-on-a-stick: Don't kill Gizmo.
There are two pictures for Junktown, showing Killian and Gizmo respectively.
Drives mutants away: Don't kill Rhombus.
Dictatorship: Kill Rhombus.
There are two pictures for the Brotherhood, one "Rhombus" picture for ending 1, one "power armour" picture for ending 2.
Dispersed by mutant attack: Enter the Hub after 140 days have passed.
Destroyed as fighting force: Kill Garl and at least eight more raiders, or kill at least thirteen raiders.
Regroup and terrorize: Enter the raider camp but don't kill enough raiders for the previous ending.
Scourge that lasts for years: Don't enter the camp.
"I think it's Skunk, the three-eyed giant catfish, that keeps scaring everything away from my spot."
As you move across the barren face of the map you'll sometimes encounter beings and bodies and booty littering the desert. With a high Luck you'll find more encounters like traders and items and fewer horrible attacks. Some of the latter are extremely unlikely (and in fact impossible to get with a LK of 7 or more). With the Ranger perk you'll also get less unpleasant encounters.
Mountain: sheer cliffs, rough terrain, rats, mole rats, radscorpions, avalanche, corpse, debris and bodies, Patrick the Celt. City: rats, gang war, mutant ambush, raiders, gangers. Coast: floaters and corpse, mantis, rats, peasants attacked by raiders, fisherman and son. Desert: dehydration, mole rats, radscorpions, radscorpions fighting mole rats, raiders, stampede.
The following are localized desert encounters:
Shady Sands: peasants attacked by raiders, merchant Duc, items on the ground (Bag, Fruit), mantis and corpse. Raiders: caravan attacked by raiders, lone raider, dead bodies. Junktown: Junktown scouts, coyotes, merchants, items. Hub: peasant herding brahmin, Hub guardsmen, merchants. Death: deathclaw, Trent the caravan guard. Necropolis: ghouls, junk and rocks, corpse. Brotherhood: Brotherhood paladins, paladins killing raiders, merchants, paladins versus mutants. Glow: radiation hot spot, floaters and centaurs, super mutants. Boneyard: gangers, gang war, super mutants, mantis. Military Base: mutants and/or centaurs and/or floaters, mutants exploring hot spot.
The "Death" encounter area is (as far as I can tell) located slightly to the northwest of the Hub, and apparently represents the deathclaw's hunting grounds. Killing a deathclaw in these encounters doesn't kill the one in the Hub, but killing the one in the Hub will stop the deathclaw encounters from happening.
Unless your karma is -21 or below you can tell Trent to hand over his things, in which case you get 1 Knife, 1 Desert Eagle, 20 .44 magnum FMJ and 20 .44 Magnum JHP. If you use a Water Flask or an Iguana-on-a-stick on him he'll give you some or all of his cash in return, but this can also crash the game, so I wouldn't.
IN<4: The fisherman will give you a Rad-X if your karma is between -30 and 29 inclusive, unless you're a Childkiller or he finds you generally offensive. In v1.2 there is no son.
Killing a child in the fisherman or peasant coast encounters does not affect your Childkiller status. The latter is a potential source of BB's.
If you carry a Water Flask you'll be safe from the mildly delaying and/or damaging effects of dehydration, at the cost of every Water Flask in your inventory disappearing when you get such an encounter. Thus there's no point in carrying more than one Water Flask.
The brahmin stampede is lethal if you're unarmoured and don't move out of the way, but with Powered Armor you can just stand there and absorb the damage.
Use a Beer or a Nuka-Cola on a mantis and it blows up. Use a Booze or a Beer on a brahmin and it falls over.
In the merchant encounters other than at Shady Sands there can be up to four merchants at the same time. There's Lox going to Adytum, Terrance going to Junktown, Julian going to the Hub and Dale going to Necropolis. You can barter with them, and if you kill them you can meet them again and they'll have no memory of their previous life (or death). Only Duc will let you tag along to his destination (Shady Sands).
If you meet Brotherhood paladins you can get them to take you to the Brotherhood (which will be nearby anyway), but only if someone put it on your map previously and your karma is 20 or above. Killing any of them makes the Brotherhood your enemy, but merely angering or fighting them does not.
Patrick the Celt is the lone traveller standing beside a cart and two boxes. If you talk to him about singing and ask if he knows the song "Na Gheala Mbeadh", your CH will go up by 1 permanently! Naming the song requires a Speech check, but you can cycle through his dialogue until you get it. Beware that if you leave dialogue before this, you'll only get to ask him the locations of Shady Sands, the Hub, Necropolis and Junktown in future conversations (you can meet him more than once). Note that if Necropolis is invaded he'll say that all the other places are too, because the script only checks that one variable. A little thing that I picked up on the NMA board: if you meet Patrick during night hours there'll be a Beer bottle on the ground. Use Steal on it and there'll be lots of stuff inside. This is a script bug; the stuff is most likely supposed to go into Patrick's inventory. If you pick up the bottle it's weightless and doesn't stack with other Beers, so you can drop it again and loot it when convenient.
If you're a Childkiller you'll probably run into Avellone the bounty hunter on the world map, whereupon he tries to kill you. This can happen everywhere and the chance is 50% each time there is an encounter, less if you have the Ranger perk. He and his crew will have slightly different equipment compared to the Boneyard map; most notably, there is no Rocket Launcher. If you leave the encounter without having killed Avellone you'll encounter him again with an identical posse on the world map or in the Boneyard, no matter if you killed any of the thugs. Players with the European version of the game don't miss much as they get to meet the merry gang in the Boneyard as usual.
If for some mysterious reason you took the Mysterious Stranger perk, the chance that he will appear in an encounter is 50%. He's always male, has 100 HP, is clad in a leather jacket and carries stuff depending on what part of the world map you're in (notable inventory items within parentheses):
Mountain: Hunting Rifle (Robes)
City: Assault Rifle
Coast: Minigun (Ripper)
Desert (north): Hunting Rifle
Desert (south): 10mm SMG
Desert (dangerous): Plasma Rifle
The following encounters are all special encounters and can be found in any terrain. You'll notice they don't bring up the flashing "lightning bolt" but rather a cross like the usual destination marker. To get these a good LK is recommended (say, 8 or more), or having the Explorer perk. You can possibly find them all even with a low LK, but it'll take a long time. With LK 9 or 10 you can find them all pretty quickly.
Overturned truck: There's a crate with money in it; how much depends on your LK:
LK 1: $1
LK 2: $32
LK 3: $105
LK 4: $298
LK 5: $730
LK 6: $1645
LK 7: $2976
LK 8: $5709
LK 9: $8443
LK 10: $10765
This amount is doubled if you have the Fortune Finder perk.
Talking brahmin: You encounter a bunch of odd cows that go "Moo, I say". Nothing to it.
Single footprint: There's a Stealth Boy in the remains.
Car mart: Bob is a loon, crazy and just insane. Inside the shack you find a Red Ryder BB Gun and a Red Ryder LE BB Gun.
Police box: Vanishes and leaves a Motion Sensor behind.
Crashed spacecraft: A flying saucer with some alien bones. One body contains a Fuzzy Painting and the other the one-of-a-kind Alien Blaster, one of the best weapons in Fallout in fact.
"I don't like kids."
In Fallout, NPCs pretty much keep their own counsel. You don't know their stats and can't tell them what to do. They can carry stuff and provide extra firepower, which is good. They get in the way a lot and must be shepherded through the last two areas of the game, which is bad.
In fact, due to the bartering bug in Fallout you can make them carry any amount of stuff. Just hand it to them in the barter interface and they won't be checked for weight. Nor will they get slowed down in any way. You can use Steal to move things freely on or off a party member, but this will check for weight. Stealing also works when they're not currently in your party (with the exception of Tandi, and Ian before you recruit him); in this case they may catch you stealing but not turn hostile.
You can give items to NPCs by using the item on them (except for Stimpaks, First Aid Kits and Doctor's Bags - using these on an NPC will heal them). If it's a weapon they'll decline it if they're not proficient with it; this corresponds to what animation frames they have available, as listed below (everyone has the unarmed animation, so it's not included). You can't use Super Stimpaks or other chems on them, and as far as I know they don't use them on their own. I recommend giving each NPC about 20 Stimpaks so they have a lasting supply.
Katja is the one exception to the above; she'll accept grenades if you give them to her even though she cannot use them (none of them can). Note that the 14mm Pistol and .223 Pistol use the SMG animation, so Katja or Tandi can use them but not Tycho.
When you want an NPC to switch weapons, tell them to use their best weapon in the next battle. This way they'll de-equip any weapon so you can steal or barter it from them (for instance if you want them to use something else). Their latest equipped weapon may not show up in the barter interface, but should be accessible if you use Steal.
NPCs won't turn on you if you accidentally hit them in combat. However, should ever a party member happen to hit a neutral critter, or should someone that isn't marked as an ally (which Friendly Foe will indicate) accidentally hit an NPC, you'll soon have a fight on your hands you might not like. Another reason to save often, folks. If you attack an NPC directly or hurt them with explosives they'll turn on you, but if you manage to exit to another map they'll have calmed down. This goes even if they're not in your party (unless they have some other reason to be angry with you).
NPCs will be on your side no matter what once you recruit them. Which means you can get Ian to kill people in Shady Sands, Tycho to slaughter Junktowners and so on. Ian is the only one who can turn permanently hostile (if you disband him after killing people in Shady Sands). Tandi works a bit differently because she's not a regular NPC; see the Shady Sands section.
If you have a bunch of items you want to trade back and forth to an NPC frequently, put them in a Bag. Though at the moment I can't think of a good reason for doing this.
NPCs never get radiated or poisoned.
If an NPC dies, and you then save and load the game or leave the map and return, the body will be gone and any carried equipment gone with it (unless they had already dropped it as a result of being fried or blown up). This happens even before you recruit them. Also beware that if an NPC dies and you save the game while still in combat mode, loading that save invariably seems to freeze the game badly at end of turn.
In v1.0 one of the more notorious bugs was the NPC multiplication bug, which would have multiple copies of your NPCs appear as a result of saving the game in combat mode. Although it may seem like a good thing to have a few spares, it was likely to crash the game eventually.
Weapons: Knife, SMG. You can get her to use a Ripper or Power Fist.
Special: You can't talk to her (so she can't be used as a mule) or drop her off (except permanently in Shady Sands).
Rating: Somewhat weak; with mêlée skills and no protection she's just too vulnerable.
To unequip Tandi's current weapon, knock her out and take it from her. If you don't want to give her a chance to equip her Knife you can steal it from her even before she gets kidnapped.
Dogmeat: Found on Phil's doorstep in Junktown.
Hit Points: 50.
Armour: Fur equivalent to Leather Armor.
Skills: Unarmed 91%.
Special: A dog. Cult status. Four attacks each round. Can't be dropped off. You'll have to heal him yourself.
Rating: Good. Dogmeat is useful early on, a bit fragile in the late game (but which one of them isn't).
Many have dedicated themselves to keeping Dogmeat alive throughout the entire game, notably using the yellow forcefields to trap him in the Military Base. Joshua Jansen points out that Dogmeat, being a dog, cannot open doors, which can be used as a general method of keeping him safe: "Find yourself a safe point for Dogmeat, in a side room, a corridor with doors, or even inside an elevator, and simply trap him inside by closing the door on him. For the final bunkers at the Military Base and the Cathedral, you have the luxury of having high-tech vault lifts on every level. As soon as he's in, enter combat. Use your Action Points to close the door with him inside, then exit combat, and presto, you have a kennel. Concerning lifts close to red forcefields, it's more a matter of luck as to if Dogmeat will be smart enough to walk into the lift before killing himself with the field."
Weapons: Spear, pistol, rifle. Give him a Sniper Rifle when you get to the Hub (he prefers the Combat Shotgun if you let him choose, but he still only gets one attack per round with that and rarely uses the burst option).
Special: Will defend the Junktowners before you recruit him, but not turn permanently hostile.
Rating: Very good. A good shot with the right weapon, all round cool guy. The best NPC.
Daggar points out: "If you can find it, there is one better weapon for Tycho than the Sniper Rifle: the Red Ryder LE BB Gun. While it is less damaging than the Sniper Rifle, Tycho will fire two shots per round with it, which more than makes up for less damage per shot. He almost never has to reload the weapon, as opposed to reloading it every 5 shots with the Sniper Rifle, and when he does reload it, that goofy 'pour the BBs in' sound effect is sure to demoralize the enemy."
Katja: Found in the Followers building in the Boneyard.
Hit Points: 39.
Armour: Equivalent to Combat Armor (carries a Leather Jacket).
Weapons: Knife, spear, SMG. Works well with a Ripper or Power Fist. Give her the .223 Pistol if Ian's not using it.
Special: Has the rather pointless ability to pick two of the locks in the game. Will fight on your side if you attack the Followers even if you didn't recruit her.
Rating: Rather weak at the time you get her.
"Would someone please remove this mental abomination?"
Well, writing a stupid section isn't as exciting as for Fallout 2 since there's not much to write about. The stupid game in Fallout basically means rushing through every area, shooting some people up for no apparent reason and grabbing whatever loot is to be had, but not much else. Stupid dialogues are very brief and they do not in any way connect your character to the world in any meaningful or role-playing-like fashion.
Of course there are things you can do that are relatively dialogue-independent. You can kill people you'd normally kill, although you may miss out on quest rewards for doing so. You can trade, although most often when you want to trade with a shopkeeper you have to hit the barter button. And you can use objects and skills, like when you cure Jarvis, fix the Necropolis water pump, or even use the learning computers in Vault 13.
Area progression is similarly simple to delineate: except for Vault 15 you'll get no location on your world map, with the single exception of the Military Base from the computer in the Cathedral vault (because that doesn't have anything to do with dialogue). As for the rest of the places, you'll have to find them yourself. Occasionally someone will hint at their existence (e.g. Aradesh sends you off to find Tandi, and Darrel in the Brotherhood will tell you the Glow is to the south), but they don't light them up on your world map. So... well, you're in for a pretty strange game if your first Fallout character ever is a stupid one. :)
You should put your IN at 3; you don't really need those char points for anything else and you might want the skill points. As for skills, I found that I could get away easily with tagging Small Guns (for use in the first third of the game or so), Melee Weapons (using the Super Sledge in the mid-game) and Lockpick (always useful), building Energy Weapons and using the Alien Blaster extensively during the late game in conjunction with the Super Sledge. The only other skills I used were Science and Repair, which I raised only with the books I found. I had no problems whatsoever taking out the Military Base and Cathedral forces at level 13-15.
The only NPC you can recruit while stupid is Dogmeat. You can't give your followers any instructions while stupid except for asking Katja to leave. Well, it's not that different from normal NPC management.
You can make your game permanently unstupid by getting the brain surgery in the Brotherhood (if this raises your IN above 3) or by chewing Mentats and then taking the Smooth Talker perk (if that raises your IN above 3 for speech options). I recommend you don't do this, or indeed eat too many Mentats during the game, since that would seem to defeat the point of playing a stupid game to begin with. The times I took Mentats during my stupid game were:
When entering the Brotherhood and picking up the Powered Armor (in theory you could get it by going to war with the Brotherhood and raiding the storeroom... a challenge indeed!).
When getting the increased stats in the Brotherhood except for IN.
When getting +2 LK from Chuck.
Also I wanted to get the +1 CH from Patrick, but I made the mistake of talking to him while stupid, saving, eating Mentats and talking to him again, only to discover I didn't have the dialogue options that you only get when talking to him the first time. Oh well. Getting Bonus Rate of Fire is another time you'd need to boost your Intelligence.
Here's a list of what you can do in each location. Note that all this goes for a pure stupid game; of course you can always use Mentats to get around a stupid limitation, so there's not much point in noting that.
Vault 13: You can finish the three main quests, but not do the local quests.
Shady Sands: You can go kill the radscorpions and have Razlo make the antidote. You can get the quest to rescue Tandi from Aradesh.
Vault 15: As normal.
Raiders: You can free Tandi and the prisoners only by way of normal combat.
Junktown: You can't do anything that requires dialogue, but you can help Killian with the assassin, and kill Killian and/or Gizmo. You can get Dogmeat.
The Hub: You can't do anything (except free the Brotherhood initiate, for which you won't be rewarded).
Necropolis: You can kill the mutants for Set, free the prisoner, and fix the pump although you can't talk to the underground leader.
Brotherhood: You can only enter by picking the door, and you can't do anything inside except get brain surgery.
The Glow: As normal, except you can't talk to Zax.
Boneyard: You can kill the deathclaws for the Gun Runners (if only because of a glitch).
Military Base: You can trick the guards with the Radio, but no talking your way in or being taken to the Lieutenant.
Cathedral: You can't do anything that requires dialogue.
"It was terrible. It had these big, pointy teeth."
--The Vault Dweller
This is not supposed to be a be-all and end-all guide to Fallout tactics, just a collection of hints and comments that fit under a common heading.
You can alter combat difficulty for a single battle if you're having problems. Of course, most often you also have the option to leave and return with bigger guns and more friends.
When scouting an area before a fight you can use the A key to enter combat mode and see if there are any critters hidden behind walls or scenery.
Every time you access your inventory during a fight to gobble Stimpaks, use as many as you think you're going to need, and also reload any readied ranged weapons by dragging ammo onto your active item slot. You can use Stimpaks on your party members or any drug or yourself from inventory using the backpack icon for a cost of 3 AP each time. This is good to remember not least when you desperately need healing but don't have quite enough AP to view inventory. Never use chems from an active item slot, as you'll be charged the displayed AP cost in addition to the 3 AP for using an item if you have any points left (bug).
Psycho is by far the best chem for combat since it actually protects you from damage while also possibly giving you an extra AP or two. I tend never to use any drugs myself, but if you think it'll make a difference, why not. Buffout's marginal, raising stats just isn't that good (and boosting EN doesn't even raise your Hit Points).
Reload your weapon after every fight so you have a fresh clip at the start of the next. (This may seem obvious, but is easy to forget.)
The smaller your chance of hitting someone, the greater the chance of a critical failure. This applies no matter the reason your chance to hit is low (bad light, long range, aimed shot, obstructing targets etc.). So don't even try using a ranged weapon if your chance to hit is below 15%. Guns can get destroyed, and energy weapons can even explode in your face.
Sometimes a fleeing enemy may run off the edge of the map, or onto an exit grid. If this happens it might be possible to lure it back after combat. Move away a bit and see if the critter walks back onto the screen on its own. If it doesn't, try walking towards the spot it disappeared, since it may come running towards you when combat starts even if it was running away the moment before. Your NPCs can shoot critters that are offscreen, but then you obviously won't be able to loot their corpses.
When using burst weapons, each bullet is treated individually when it comes to penetration, damage etc., so it's possible to fire full auto and not do very much damage against an armoured opponent. This also makes the perk Bonus Ranged Damage a little more useful.
An important note on ammo: due to poor item design, AP (armour piercing) ammo does not really do what you'd expect it to, namely pierce armour. This is because a) the modification to Damage Resistance does not nearly compensate for the much lower base damage, and b) it does not modify Damage Threshold at all. Hence in virtually any situation you're better off using JHP ammo for greater damage. Might as well make it a rule of thumb to discard or sell off all kinds of AP ammo if you have the other type available (AP Rockets being an exception).
Basic rule: when comparing two guns, look at the ammo modifiers, especially the damage multiplier, and not just the weapon damage - check out the table in Items. Also consider rate of fire if applicable, and range if you're the sniping kind.
Many ranged weapons have accuracy modifiers that are seemingly independent of range and ammo stats. These fall into two categories. The first one, which always seems to give a +20% bonus, includes the 14mm Pistol, 9mm Mauser, Shotgun, Combat Shotgun and Alien Blaster. The other category, whose given bonus most often fluctuates between +24% and +56% depending on lighting, visibility and distance, includes the Red Ryder LE BB Gun, Hunting Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Assault Rifle, Minigun, Rocket Launcher, Laser Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Turbo Plasma Rifle and the Gatling Laser.
Ammo weight is based upon how many rounds make up one ammo "item". For instance, 1-24 10mm JHP bullets will weigh 1 pound, 25-48 will weigh 2 pounds, and so on. Any amount of ammo in a weapon always counts as one item; it is for this reason the total weight carried may go up as you reload a weapon. Always unload guns that you pick up as loot, since you're usually keeping the ammo and selling the gun anyway.
If it's not completely obvious, you can unload weapons in shops and trade for the ammo.
Before getting into a fight with initially non-hostile people, you can of course use Steal to relieve them of any chems, Stimpaks, extra ammo or even guns. Personally I don't use Steal overmuch so I wouldn't bother with this either.
If you knock someone unconscious, they won't necessarily be hostile when they wake up (depends on their script). You can use this to knock someone down and take their equipment if you hadn't planned to kill them. Also people won't always be hostile if you run to an exit grid and then come back. In some places, however, just attacking someone turns everyone permanently hostile.
Your chance to hit increases by 40% against an opponent that's lying down. You'll probably want to take the opportunity to make a called attack or two.
Tactics and "party management"
When fighting early monsters without ranged attacks such as radscorpions, you can use this cheap trick. 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.
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 fact, you may be able to run past hostile critters or sentries with proximity scripts by entering combat mode, running a bit, holding down A as you're leaving combat mode and getting to move again before any critter gets to react! This last trick certainly does not work in Fallout 2. You can also open a door to a room with monsters and hit A while the door opens, thus getting the first shot.
Take advantage of AI "features". For instance, critters will always react upon seeing you, not your party members (because they're scripted that way), and will try to attack you first. Normally they won't attack your NPCs unless they receive significantly more damage from them than from you. If you move out of the way of enemies with ranged weapons they will come running to catch up with you, giving your party members free shots at them. Sometimes critters ignore your NPCs completely, and you can then run back and forth while your NPCs fire at the luckless monsters.
Get used to the fact that there are no combat settings and your NPCs are completely reckless. Sometimes you may be able to block the way for your NPCs so that they don't charge forward and get killed.
Duck behind walls a lot if you can, using spare Action Points. Enemies who start running will often spend all their AP for that round moving if they can, only attacking when they're right next to you even if they have ranged weapons. You can take advantage of this to snipe your opponents and leading them on for as long as possible. Using a single AP you may be able to force the opposition to waste an entire turn.
Crippling the eyes or legs of critters doesn't seem to be as effective here as in Fallout 2; monsters usually (and wisely) keep attacking. Of course, you still want to make it harder for them. It may be a good idea to cripple the arms of mutants with heavy guns or other people with rifles.
Your NPCs will never switch targets during a round. If you try to finish off weak opponents you reduce the risk of your NPCs "wasting" a shot if they have more than one attack per round.
Be careful about giving burst weapons to party members. While Tycho can handle a Combat Shotgun pretty well, Ian or Katja with the 10mm SMG can be absolutely lethal - to you! A good way to counter this is to equip them with single shot weapons (Sniper Rifle, .233 Pistol). This way they also won't waste ammo by burst-firing a target across the whole screen. After you get the Powered Armor this is not much of a problem any more.
You may want to avoid putting certain mêlée weapons on your NPCs altogether (Knives and Spears), because sometimes when they don't have enough AP for a ranged attack they'll equip the mêlée weapon and not switch back on their own, which is a) bad, and b) damn annoying.
If an NPC is knocked down as you move to another map, they may stay flagged as fallen; you can tell if they become stuck in moving animation frames when standing still. The next time you are in combat (simply entering and leaving combat mode won't help) they'll get up at a cost of 3 AP.
If you're playing HtH, you're probably going to end up chasing a lot of runners. One way of catching up is to end combat if possible and then sneak up on them. Another is to let your NPCs do the chasing since critters will only run from you and not them. Yet another way is to bring a gun for this purpose.
Always take out enemies armed with Rocket Launchers or Miniguns first, especially if you're in a tight formation with party members. Not that they're likely to kill you if you have Hardened Power Armor, but if they get that lucky critical...
Random weapons and ammo notes
Weapon progression is pretty simple: there aren't too many weapons to choose from. You get the 10mm SMG and Hunting Rifle early on and won't have to use the 10mm Pistol except maybe when killing the radscorpions (I don't think I ever used the Desert Eagle or the 14mm Pistol). Once you get to the Hub, you'll have access to the Sniper Rifle and .223 Pistol, which are the best small guns. There you'll also find the Super Sledge, the best weapon for mêlée fighters. The Power Fist for martial artists can be had in the Brotherhood.
Energy weapons and big guns come into play pretty late in the game. Big guns on the whole aren't that worthwhile: the Minigun is surprisingly ineffective against armoured opponents, the Rocker Launcher is unwieldy and the Flamer is short-ranged. The Turbo Plasma Rifle shines in comparison. An energy weapon which can be found pretty early in the game if you have a high Luck is the Alien Blaster, but it has a very short range also (and you'll have to turn down the violence level if you want to loot corpses properly).
Another weapon which is only available from a special encounter (and can therefore be regarded as a curiosity) is the Red Ryder LE BB Gun, which is almost comparable to the Sniper Rifle in power but costs 2 less AP to fire, and has a weird "fupp" firing sound which must be very humiliating for your opponents. Not as good as the Turbo Plasma Rifle, though.
If you're adept at both Melee Weapons and a ranged weapon skill, a good combination is to keep the Super Sledge in one item slot and a ranged weapon in the other. If the knockback effect of the Super Sledge annoys you, try the Ripper, or go for Unarmed and the Power Fist.
One thing that I find extremely neat for some reason is that with mêlée weapons that have a range of two hexes (the Spear, Sledgehammer and Super Sledge), you can hit enemies through walls; the game doesn't check to see if there's a blocking hex.
If you're going to use a Rocket Launcher (or any other Big Gun), it's a good idea to keep another weapon in your other active item slot. You'll often find that you can't hit multiple enemies with the Rocket Launcher or a burst weapon, in which case it may be more economical to switch to the handgun and shoot a single target with that instead. Sometimes, too, the only opponents you face may be a pack of howling mantis and deploying a rocket would be your last resort. Lastly, it may well help you get the most out of your Action Points if you switch between a slow and a fast weapon in a round.
Remember that none of the Sniper or Slayer perks applies for thrown weapons.
Floaters are weak against fire and explosive damage. Robots, in addition to their obvious weakness against EMP damage, are extra susceptible to electrical damage. Super mutants have the equivalent of metal or combat armour, making laser weapons all the more undesirable. Brotherhood paladins should be attacked using the Turbo Plasma Rifle.
The AC modifier for Rocket AP should probably have belonged to Explosive Rocket instead (to simulate its "splash damage", whereas an AP rocket must hit its target directly to be fully effective). As it is, Rocket AP is strictly superior.
The DR modifiers for the two kinds of 5mm ammo seem to have been reversed (they're fixed in Fallout 2), which should mean 5mm AP is even suckier than the basic suckiness of AP ammo. Tests indicate that the difference is not as great as it should be (which could mean that ammo behaviour is not fully understood), but you should be safe sticking to the "AP sucks" rule.
A few weapons have special "item perks" that affect or improve their performance (the innate accuracy modifiers are of this origin). The Sledgehammer and Super Sledge have Knockback, which sort of speaks for itself. Ripper, Power Fist and the .223 Pistol have Penetrate, which may reduce armour modifiers. Cattle Prod and Flare have the Accurate perk which means they grant a +20% to hit bonus.
You can often hit with grenades at short range and low skill level, but even so it will rarely be better than your other available options. Frag Grenades are ineffective against armoured opponents but can be used for fun or convenience against, say, ghouls or raiders. By the time you find use for Pulse Grenades it simply shouldn't be worth the extra trouble of getting them out of your pack. Non-robotic critters that rely on electronic components - to wit, the Master, the Lieutenant and Brotherhood paladins (but not the player character in Powered Armor) - don't have complete protection against EMP damage; however, this is little more than a curiosity since each grenade is still only good for some 20-30 damage.
"Oooh, pretty, pretty stuff. Why is the moon?"
Locations for common items represent where you're likely to first find them, unless you're using stupid short cut techniques. Non-special random encounters are not considered in this regard, unless the item in question is very rare. If an item appears in more than two or three places in an area I haven't bothered to specify names or locations. Names are given as they appear in the game (e.g. with a missing apostrophe in "Deans Electronics"). These tables are preferably viewed in 800x600 resolution or better.
"(Vault 13)" in the location slot means it's an item which you may start with depending on your tag skills.
Hub (hospital), Boneyard (library)
Shady Sands (Ian), Vault 15
Raiders (Garl), Junktown (gambler)
Hub (Jacob), Glow
Hardened Power Armor
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance values are given for normal damage, which is by far the most common damage type for most of the game. Laser damage deviates the most from these values, but isn't used very much. Tesla Armor is special in the way that it offers extra protection against laser and plasma damage... but there's no area where enemies rely exclusively on these damage types, so be prepared to get knocked down with a Crowbar or something.
There are two kinds of damage not shown on the inventory sheet: EMP and electrical. EMP is presumably only used for Pulse Grenades and everyone but robots has a very high resistance level. Electrical damage is used for the Alien Blaster, the Cattle Prod and red forcefields. As a rule of thumb, electrical resistances are the same as plasma.
The two types of power armour raise your ST by 3 to a maximum of 10.
(Vault 13), Raiders
Shady Sands (Aradesh), Raiders
(Vault 13), Hub (Beth)
Brotherhood (Mathia), Boneyard
Junkt. (boxing guard), Hub (Beth)
Vault 13 (thief), Vault 15
Hub (Jacob), Brotherhood
Necrop. (sewers), Boneyard (Zack)
Vault 15, Junktown
Hub (Lorenzo's), Glow
Hub (Jacob), Glow
Red Ryder BB Gun
Shady Sands (child), Junktown
Red Ryder LE BB Gun
Car mart encounter
Desert Eagle .44
Junktown (Neal), Hub
Shady Sands (Seth), Vault 15
Vault 13, Raiders
Hub (Jacob), Glow
Necropolis (sewers), Glow
Turbo Plasma Rifle
Damage for ranged weapons is per successfully delivered bullet. Damage for mêlée weapons is excluding your character's Melee Damage.
AP cost is for the weapon's basic attack. Burst attacks cost 1 AP more for weapons with both single shot and burst capacity. Thrust attacks for HtH weapons cost the same as swing attacks for all weapons except for the Sledgehammer and Super Sledge, for which they cost 1 AP more. Aimed attacks cost 1 AP more (and this is cumulative with the Sledgehammer thrust penalty). Swing and thrust attack modes may do different damage or affect armour modifiers, but it doesn't say in the manual or the inventory screen.
The Pulse Grenade, being the only weapon that deals EMP damage, does no damage to most non-robot critters (see Combat for the exceptions), but it can deal a lot of damage to you unless you're wearing any kind of armour. I always suspected the Vault Dweller to be an android. (This is actually because the main character uniquely has the EMP DR as part of the armour item definitions instead of the critter definition.)
Rocks, Throwing Knives and Spears add your Melee Damage to the maximum damage when not thrown, although this is not reflected in the inventory window.
A lit Flare has the exact same damage properties as an unlit Flare.
Red Ryder LE BB Gun
.44 magnum FMJ
Desert Eagle .44
.44 Magnum JHP
12 ga. Shotgun Shells
.223 Pistol, Sniper Rifle
Small Energy Cell
Power Fist, Alien Blaster
Micro Fusion Cell
Turbo Plasma Rifle
A dash means "don't use this (unless you really, really have to)".
With a few exceptions, ammo is found in the same locations where you find the weapons that use them.
Unlike in Fallout 2, the AC modifier is not reflected in the displayed chance to hit, e.g. a Rocket Launcher will show the same number no matter which kind of rocket you load into it. Presumably it's applied somewhere down the line.
Items which can be consumed for an effect (may also have quest use):
AG +3, IN -3, DR +50
(Vault 13), Raiders
ST +2, AG +2, EN +3
Vault 13, Raiders
IN +2, PE +2, CH +1
Shady Sands (Razlo)
Poison Level -75
Radiation Level -150
Radiation Resistance +50
Shady Sands, Raiders
Current HP +(1-4), Radiation Level +2
Current HP +(10-20)
Current HP +75, then -6, then -3
Guns and Bullets
Raises Small Guns
Big Book of Science
First Aid Book
Shady Sands, Vault 15
Raises First Aid
PE -1, slays manti
Effects are permanent unless duration is specified. The effect of Psycho and Rad-X wears off by one half at a time. Stats raised by chems will drop below their original values for a period of time after the effect wears off, about as much as the initial bonus. RadAway takes full effect over the course of 4 hours. Antidote takes full effect over the course of 2 minutes.
Books raise a skill by a number depending on your current skill level, ranging from 6-7 at low skill levels (20-30%) to 1-2 (70-90%). You get twice that amount if the skill is tagged. Reading a book takes from 1 to 10 hours depending on your Intelligence (i.e. 11-IN).
A kind of cheat is to alter the difficulty level to get more skill points out of books (except Guns and Bullets). Turning the difficulty from easy to normal lowers all non-combat skills by 20%; changing it from normal to hard lowers them by another 10%. You can then read books to get the skills back to 91%, and finally turn difficulty back to normal.
You can use drugs to lower your stats to get more skill points out of books using the same mechanism. In theory you can raise First Aid and Science to 109%, and Small Guns, Repair and Outdoorsman to 100% using this technique, providing that your PE, EN, IN and AG are at 10 and all the relevant skills are at 91%. To lose AG, use 1 Buffout for each two points you want to lose and rest 6 hours. To lose IN, use Psycho. To lose PE, drink alcohol. To lose EN, use 1 Buffout for each point you want to lose and rest 6 hours. Use all your books from the inventory screen; time won't pass until you close it, so your stats won't return to normal before you're done. If you want to use the difficulty trick above as well, you'll have to do them at the same time for maximum efficiency.
It's said you can use alcoholic drinks on people in case you don't want them to shoot straight once you attack them, or if you want to lower their PE before a Sneak or Steal attempt. I haven't noticed any significant difference when I've tried this, though.
Items which have general use (may also have quest use):
Junktown (Killian's, Gizmo's)
Shady Sands, Junktown
Shady Sands (scorp caves)
Vault 15, Raiders
Boneyard (Tine, Regulator)
First Aid Kit
First Aid +20%
(Vault 13), Raiders
Electronic Lock Pick
Hub (Jasmine), MB, Cathedral
(Vault 13), Junktown (Doc Morbid)
Note that the bonuses gained from Lock Picks, Tools and so on may vary depending on what script is being used. It could be +10%, +25% or even changing a random skill check to a fixed value check. I don't know exactly about the medical items (and in fact I'm not at all sure what the Stealth Boy does), but I'm putting them at +20% as well.
Note on Bags and Back Packs: they're useful for uncluttering your inventory, but remember that the game won't "see" items in there (for instance when you want to present a quest item to someone or reload a gun), with the exception of money. This can be used to your advantage as well. There are rumours that items in bags can disappear, but this has never happened to me in v1.2. In v1.0 there were reportedly several bag bugs, including strange things happening when putting one Bag inside another, and getting extra ammo by unloading guns inside bags.
Both medical supplies items will vanish after a number of uses. Lock Picks and Electronic Lock Picks may break if you get a critical failure.
Geiger Counters, Motion Sensors and Stealth Boys use up "charges" each time you turn them on, but don't seem to care much about how long you leave them on after that (Geiger Counters and Stealth Boys will lose charges if you leave them on and rest for several days). They'll turn off if you move to another map, though (which really only affects Stealth Boy usage).
There's a bartering bug related to Geiger Counters: some of them cannot be bartered away no matter what kind of offer you make although they have a cash value displayed in the bartering interface as usual (kind of like trying to sell armed Dynamite or a lit Flare). It may have to do with the fact that traders will refuse to accept Geiger Counters whose batteries have run out (although this bug affects items with charges as well). The latter is true for Stealth Boys, but not Motion Sensors.
In v1.0 there was a bug with the Stealth Boy, where if you saved the game while using it the Stealth Boy could turn into a Geiger Counter, leaving you in permanent stealth mode. This was fixed simply by getting another Stealth Boy and turning it on and off.
Items which you barter for but do not normally have independent existence:
Shady Sands (Razlo)
Shady Sands (Razlo)
Shady Sands (Razlo)
Items which have one-time or one-place use (unless otherwise noted):
Blue Pass Key
Cathedral (Morpheus, Jeremiah)
Hub (Jacob's), Necropolis (sewers)
Junktown (Lars), Hub (Mitch, cave)
Two uses in MB
Red Pass Key
Vault 15 (two) and Glow
Military Base (technicians)
Small Piece Of Machinery
A.k.a. systolic motivator
Military Base (entrance)
Vree's Experiment Disk
Yellow Pass Key
Items which have no known (meaningful) use:
Alpha Experiment Disk
Box Of Noodles
Delta Experiment Disk
Hub (flower child), MB (Flip)
Spacecraft encounter, caravan encounter
Small Dusty Box Of Some Sort
Military Base (Lieutenant)
You Have No Idea
A.k.a. Cat's Paw magazine
You gain 100 xp for reading each holodisk. Whee.
The You Have No Idea item is actually a box of rubber heels of Canadian origin and not a magazine at all; the brand and cover are authentic. Since this isn't exactly obvious it's entirely possible whoever changed it for Fallout 2 wasn't aware of the item's true nature and had just assumed (like most people, I would guess) that it's a magazine instead of a very small box.
List of addiction effects:
ST -2, EN -2, AG -3
IN -3, AG -2
Radiation Resistance -20
The values within parentheses are the ones I arrived at statistically (150 uses) before I knew you can use FIME to find the proper ones. After doing all that work I'm not going to just throw away the results. :P
"Love is what makes the cactus grow! Love is what makes the brahmin moo!"
Let's see... the Overseer, Tandi, Aradesh, Killian, Gizmo, Butch, Harold, Loxley, Decker, Jain, Set, Harry, Cabbot, Rhombus, Vree, Maxson, Nicole, the Lieutenant, Laura, Morpheus, the Master. That's a lot of talking heads!
Some bugs that I've experienced or uncovered in v1.2 (localized bugs that affect gameplay are covered in the walkthrough):
Saving the game near an irritable person and loading can cause them to attack "unprovoked". For instance, I saved the game after Kalnor had warned me that I shouldn't enter Junktown at night. When I loaded he was hostile, apparently thinking he had given me a warning and time to back away. Saving in combat mode while in the Hub and loading can cause the guards to attack, but if you immediately reload the same save they might not.
Saving in the middle of combat can also cause critters to sequence before you upon reloading, effectively giving them an extra turn.
Died of radiation sickness for no apparent reason while resting in the Brotherhood.
NPCs go "apathetic" during some battles and don't seem to think it's that important to attack whomever you're attacking.
Once I killed everyone in the Brotherhood and still got the good ending for them.
Some large bookcases are technically two pieces of scenery (as pointed out by Kahgan, the reason for this is so the whole bookcase can display properly with regard to perspective), and if you happen to click the wrong one your character fiddles with it only to generate a message saying it's too heavy to pick up.
Razlo threw a Flare at me in Shady Sands that got stuck in its "airborne" animation frame and remained there even after I left and returned. I've also a couple of times thrown Flares into walls and had to run to the other side of the wall to pick them up.
I rested in the Skum Pitt until 2 p.m. when Neal runs to open the door, then rested again until the Skulz showed up, and triggered the scripted sequence. Neal started walking from the door to get behind the counter, leaving the Skulz time to finish their part of the sequence and walk out of the bar. When Neal arrived behind the counter he drew his gun and blasted the moving Skul at maximum range through a closed door.
A couple of fighters stood about in Gustofer's ring, and hovering the mouse pointer over them would yield the description "Desk". When the next fight started, the new challenger appeared in the wrong position, so that both fighters were punching at air.
You were supposed to be able to fix the Saul/Trish relationship by talking to Saul first, then telling Trish she must let him keep on fighting if he wants to. This would have been done by talking to Trish in her room in the Crash House, for which there are several dialogue nodes - but all the time she's there, she's asleep and incommunicable.
On several occasions Ian has refused to follow me around on the Junktown casino map. This is likely related to the Dogmeat following bug, the guard allegiance bug, the Lars duplication bug, the boxing display bug, crashes and/or other strange goings-on reported as having taken place on this map - scripts simply tend to break down here. (Note how on the town map it's represented by a green triangle.)
If a party member dies while walking through a red forcefield in the Military Base, they may leave a frozen "death by electricity" animation frame behind, or even complete their movement animation and leave a standing corpse. Meanwhile their stuff is dropped on the ground in the forcefield, unless violence is set to none or minimal.
If you talk to Nicole more than once while stupid, you get a voice sample along with her floats until you've been in conversation with someone else. More like an oddity than a bug, perhaps.
The inventory window only displays the first three digits of weight carried, e.g. "104" if you are carrying 1040 pounds of goods. You'll never reach that kind of figure unless you barter an inordinate amount of heavy things from someone.
The Follower invaders use Brotherhood combat taunts.
If a critter dies from Super Stimpak damage while performing a fidget animation, it momentarily drops to the ground, then repeats the animation and leaves a standing corpse.
You can close a door while standing in the doorway, and then step in either direction like a Schrödinger's Vault Dweller.
The reserve movement command in combat works only if you don't press down Ctrl until your turn has begun, which is not how you normally expect meta keys to function.
Katja is the only NPC with skill points in Energy Weapons, but she doesn't have the ability to use any of them. Ian and Katja both have useless skill points in Big Guns.
Using explosives to damage the Military Base forcefields only turns them off if you make a Traps roll. However, failing the roll instead turns the emitter invisible so that you can pass beside the field.
There are three computers in the Military Base related to forcefields that don't do much of anything, either because they try to affect a set of unused forcefields scripts, or fail to properly affect the ones in place, or both.
The mother deathclaw is identified as a "he" when examined. The game also refers to some robots as "he", while Dogmeat is called both "it" and "he". Deathclaw eggs are "he" and add to the "men" kill category when slain.
How to finish the game in twenty minutes (if you hurry up)
Start a new character with PE 8, good IN and AG. Tag Unarmed, Lockpick and Speech. Run from the rats, leave the vault and travel west until you get to the Military Base (you may have to save a few times as you go).
Talk to the first guard you meet and go to see the Lieutenant. Refuse to tell him anything, and when he moves to hit you, run away. Go to the control room (save before going through the red forcefield). Stand behind the technician in the northeast corner and save. Use aimed blows to the head and try to knock him out; when you succeed, take his Robes and Security Card. If you set off the alarm, load. Wear the Robes. Use the card on the computer and trigger the 3-minute countdown. If done correctly the base should not be on alert, and you can just run all the way to the surface unmolested (but beware the red forcefields and chew a Stimpak or two). When you step on the exit grid you'll level up four times.
Travel south-southeast to the Cathedral and enter. Boost Lockpick to 100%, Science to 70% and Unarmed to 150%. Go to the top of the tower and take the Power Fist from the footlocker. Go down and enter the basement, open the secret door, bluff your way past the guards and go to level 3, then to level 4. Stand behind the mutant with the Gatling Laser and save. Equip the Power Fist, say you have permission from the Lieutenant to be armed and kill him with one or two aimed blows to the eyes. When the other one moves in, kill him too. Arm the bomb using Science. Return to the surface and step on the exit grid. The end!
By taking advantage of the ability to keep A pressed to prevent critters from acting you can do this even faster, as demonstrated by Devin Herron. Firstly you don't need Robes to leave the Military Base, making that part considerably easier (get them from the Followers instead). Secondly you don't have to worry about mutant patrols on the world map. Thirdly you don't have to visit the tower for the Power Fist, since you don't have to fight the mutants guarding the bomb (this is easier if you pick up the Key in the base right after evading the Lieutenant).
The Fallout demo
A demo for Fallout was released containing something resembling a prototype Junktown, offering a different experience even for those who have played the full game. You'll notice some interesting details if you play about in the character editor, such as Small Frame giving AG +2 and Finesse raising your Critical Chance by 20%! Sequence is calculated as PE+AG and is raised by 5 if you take Night Person. This is pretty irrelevant though as you can only play the demo as the pre-defined character Max Stone.
You appear before the gates of Scrapheap, a minuscule community currently ruled by the Crypts gang. Waiting in the wings is the Fools gang, while the few unaligned residents would rather that the main character get rid of all the gangers. All is set for a minimalistic Yojimbo-type drama.
You'll notice there are quite a lot of interface issues, e.g. you can't save the game or access the options screen, you can't initiate combat without actually attacking, there's no carrying limit, there are odd messages such as "Wooden Wall was hit instead of You", and line of sight is a bit screwy (enemies shooting you through walls and whatnot). You can reload weapons, loot corpses and access inventory without using AP in combat. There's a different (uglier) typeface in the dialogue window, and the Pipboy doesn't do a whole lot.
Ways to finish the demo include:
Kill either gang and talk to the leader of the other, whether or not you joined them. The game will end instantly. There are two exceptions in case you killed the Fools: if you're a Fool yourself Rayze will attack, and if you talked to him before and declined becoming a Crypt he will ignore you.
Join either gang and agree to go scout the others out. Do so (you will know it's done when your Pipboy clue/quest entry disappears) and report back. Once the battle starts you can hang back and let them kill each other. Try to stay out of it for as long as possible (they tend to gang up on you as soon as you shoot someone) and finish off what's left. A little while after the battle is over you get a brief message and the game ends. You can also simply help kill the opposing team and talk to your leader as above.
If at any time outside of combat there is no more than one member of each gang alive, it counts as defeating the gangs and the game ends.
Steal the Wire Cutters from Skippy the Fool or kill him for them (don't talk to him before becoming a Fool unless you want a fight), then use them on the power generator in the Crypts house (250 xp). All remaining gangers will walk out of the village. You can either wait for them all to disappear or use your Repair skill on the generator to end the demo.
Bits and pieces of info include:
Stimpaks always restore 12 HP.
There's some ammo in Phil's shack and an MP9 lying behind the bar in the Crypts house. You can use Sneak to unlock and loot the fridge for a Minigun and some other stuff.
Take an Iguana-on-a-stick from the ice chest or the fridge and use it on the dog to gain a companion (and 200 inconsequential xp). Not nearly as good as Dogmeat, though. It's possible to plant items on the dog using Steal.
You can use the computer in the Crypts house to play Fallout for 100 xp.
You can kill the gate guards before going in and it won't change anything (if not they'll fight for the Crypts).
Phrax will first warn you and then attack if you use any skill on the generator or try to pick the fridge. If you're already a Crypt, this often causes the Crypts to start shooting at each other - and you. Sneaking successfully will let you loot the fridge, but won't stop him turning hostile if you tamper with the generator.
If you joined the Crypts you can switch sides by talking to Baka and passing a Speech check.
There are two quests that appear in your Pipboy. "Scout out the Crypts for the Fools" is listed under the heading "Junktown". The other, "Stop the Gangs from attacking Adytum", is listed under "Boneyard" and appears when you start the gang war. Instead of being crossed out when they're no longer relevant they just disappear.
Many dialogue nodes have a blank option at the bottom, some of which take you to the same place as the line directly above it and seem intended to enlarge the clickable area, others which allow you to leave dialogue prematurely. This doesn't have any special effect in most scripts, but could cause some oddities when talking to Baka. For instance, when you talk to her after joining the Crypts, you can avoid combat, or you could even avoid becoming a Fool after talking her into letting you join. Finally it will let you leave dialogue when talking to her after becoming a Fool to get your scouting assignment. Afterwards the script will assume you have the quest active and Baka will ask if you're done, but since you never got the quest you can't finish it.
After you initiate the gang war but before combat starts, you can talk to Lex and call him a coward. He will technically join your party, but he won't follow you and will do nothing in combat except run away.
If you ever wondered about the broken Pipboy button, it was supposed to read "Clues" and does so here. A pointless clue shows up if you agree to scout the Fools for the Crypts.
The demo has the Ctrl-R recording mode available, and there are a few brief recordings to watch.
The enclosed manual states there were to be fifteen areas in the full game; the extra three may have been two raider camps (Jackals and Vipers) and the Burrows as seen in the Fallout Bible.
And thus ends the demo section.
Things that will bug you severely if you've played Fallout 2
There's no "take all" button (argh).
You can't move more than $999 at a time.
You can't use Page Up and Page Down in your inventory (aaargh).
New items go to the bottom of your inventory instead of the top (don't they have playtesters to catch this sort of thing?).
You can't barter freely with party members.
You can't tell party members to move out of the way (or anyone else).
Party members can't change armour.
Party members can't gain levels.
There's nothing in the way of combat settings for party members.
Party members move about a lot while you're trying to use healing skills or Steal on them.
Did I mention some stuff about party members?
Your destination on the world map is reset every time you have an encounter.
The layout of Vault 15 is simply wrong!
"Rest until morning" only goes to 6.00 even though a lot of people in the game consider 7.00 or 8.00 to be the start of business hours, which is usually what you're waiting for.
You "take damage" when earning a level (because your current HP level doesn't go up).
You need a perk to get green outlines around your NPCs in combat (oh yeah, that's worth a perk. How about you need a second level of the perk to get yellow outlines for critters outside your line of sight?).
Money isn't displayed in dialogue.
Carry Weight isn't displayed in inventory.
There's no car, which means there's no trunk (but actually I don't have a problem with that).
Using explosives from an active item slot doesn't drop the explosive (so why can you do it at all?).
If you try to use something during combat, like opening a door or searching a corpse, your character will walk slowly up to it even if you have "always run" on.
There are very few reputations, no special perks, very few ways of improving your character except for perks.
You can't choose whether to avoid random encounters or not.
There are time limits (although the most damaging one was removed by the patch).
There is significantly less humour and what-the-heck playfulness (not all think this is a downside).
As previously expounded, random skill checks and static skill starting values tend to reduce the difference between character types.
The game is rather brief if you know where to go and what to do.
Excessive looting is pointless since there's little to invest in (excessive looting should always be rewarded).
You'll finish the game well before reaching the highest character levels unless you devote time exclusively to xp hunting.
You can't keep playing after you've finished the game (well, maybe there's not a lot to do).
Things that are better in Fallout
It's the groundbreaking original, or something (introducing radscorpions, perks, Nuka-Cola, talking heads, great voice acting, people's ribcages being torn apart, strange biological goo, and general post-apocalyptic mayhem).
The world map is a lot more stylish and actually shows urban areas.
There's one location where you have to worry about radiation (which means the total number of Rad-X you have to chew in all of the two games is equal to 2).
You have a greater sense of the the plot actually going on around you (well... sometimes).
Less out-of-character content and less orderly communities makes for a more condensed and consistent atmosphere.
There are less bugs and less typos in the final patch (although there are many typographical deviations and punctuation glitches, especially in the Boneyard... and the Cathedral and Brotherhood are full of scripting glitches and unreachable dialogue paths...).
Some data in the manual is spot on that is incorrect in the Fallout 2 manual, like the Master Trader and Small Frame descriptions, and the manual contains more detailed info overall.
There's actually some of this!
Pipboy entries for several quest-like things done in Shady Sands, Junktown and the Hub.
A gang war in the Boneyard, with the Blades as a regular gang instead of a bunch of wimps and Tangler as a big bad boss of the Rippers (you can hear about them in some tell-me-abouts). Related quests to join the Blades, stop the gangs from attacking Adytum, and rescue Zimmerman's son (Jason, not Josh) from the Rippers.
A quest to deliver a Gold Locket from a Blade to an Adytum inhabitant.
A Brotherhood miniquest to deliver Pulse Grenades from Michael to Sophia. Also more extended dialogue with Michael, and being able to con a Laser Pistol out of him.
A Brotherhood spy quest.
The Followers spy quest (it seems the name of the spy was Heather).
A quest to deliver (perhaps unwittingly) a bomb to a Follower named Jake (you can ask Nicole about him).
Being able to report Iguana Bob to the Hub police (really).
Several named critters like a crone called Agatha in Shady Sands and a gambler called Hernandez in Junktown. Lots and lots in the Brotherhood and the Boneyard, several of which would have been able to raise various skills.
Finding a Key in Vault 15 meant for... who knows what.
Happy endings for the Followers (with a pic showing an unbroken wall) and the Hub (with a pic showing Iguana Bob), and mutant invasion endings for Junktown (with a pic showing Harry the super mutant) and the Brotherhood.
In-game effects of mutant invasions of the Followers, Hub, Brotherhood, Junktown and Shady Sands.
A super mutant named Rae who you could talk into killing the Master (in a movie sequence, no less).
A Vipers raider camp.
An area called the Burrows with intelligent raccoons that (luckily) never made it from the concept stage.
A miniquest involving Billy and Dan in the Hub, which has been fully scripted but seemingly does not work.
Finding the remains of an ambushed caravan along with the corpse of a Vault 13 scout turned super mutant.
A clue index, mostly serving as reminders of known information, and a function to store video clips in your Pipboy.
An unused "fire dance" death animation for children and midgets (it's used in Fallout 2).
Top 3 most frequently asked Fallout questions
Q: How do I read holodisks?
A: In your inventory, click on the holodisk and select the hand icon. Then enter the Pipboy, click the status button and check the list of downloaded files on the right.
Q: I saved the game in the Glow and every time I leave and move anywhere on the world map I die.
A: You've been seriously radiated. Either you didn't eat Rad-X to protect yourself, or you lingered too long. RadAway won't help you now, so if you saved the game in between soaking up lethal radiation and dying from it, you'll have to look for an earlier save and continue from there. You may be able to employ drugs to withstand the radiation damage (see table in Character Design). Failing all else you can use Falche to raise your stats, but remember to put things right again afterwards, or you will be (even more of) a dirty cheater.
Q: I can't finish the spy quest among the Followers.
A: That's right. The people you would have to talk to in order to finish the quest aren't in the game.
New stuff in v1.1:
Made numerous minor additions and clarifications, cleared up many uncertainties, added some details regarding Killian, added a section on the demo in Addenda, added NPC notes for Tandi and Tycho, added a considerable number of bugs in Addenda, added a few notes and comments in Combat (e.g. fallen NPC bug, item perks, grenades), added jail and guard notes in Junktown, upgraded Bonus Move and corrected its number of levels, adjusted some character recommendations, added a Pipboy bug that lets you rest anywhere, noted that Electronic Lock Picks can break (thanks to Michal Burger), added a couple of notes on Kalnor, added several details on the Skulz quest, moved the Avellone world map encounter to Encounters and added some details, added a bug note on Bonus Move (thanks to Atombombe), added Mrs Stapleton's problem with Bags, added a short bit on gender in Character design, changed the patch link from the defunct Interplay site to NMA, added punching with Rocks, introduced the children patch and generally updated info on children, added notes on temporary monsters and mutant transparency in the Cathedral, noted that the Master spawns a limited amount of mutants, added a note on rubber heels in Items, added a "bug" when killing the Overseer, cleared up how radiation death works (thanks to Zig), added a note on skill point perks and cleared up the Tag! note, noted that skill points are capped at 99 on level up, added a note on Silent Death, noted the cause of the Sharpshooter bug, added several details on caravans and a related bug note, added the recording mode and a related cheat, added a Dogmeat bug in the Hub, cleared up Garret's rewards, added the disappearing NPC corpse bug, moved Nuka-Cola to another item category for its mantis-blasting power, added a bit on reaction, added a note on Night Vision and corrected its number of levels, added Tim Cain's head, added some scattered info on critter armour equivalents, added a Morpheus bug, verified (?) that the chess game is unwinnable, added two notes on Razlo, added a note on Vree, added bringing the Follower invaders outside the Cathedral, removed the broken Billy miniquest, added a note on partial dehydration/invasion in Necropolis, added some details on getting Rhombus' motivator, added NPC weapon skills, added to and tidied up the "unfinished business" list.
V0.99, 25/8 2002: Preview version.
V1.0, 5/5 2003: Officially finished version. Mostly minor adjustments and additions, nothing really exciting.
V1.1, 27/2 2005: First update, cleaning up loose ends all over the place.
V1.1.1, 2018-05-13: Original source is no longer available. Copied onto and hosted on Github. Made some minor visual changes for readability and responsiveness, added dark theme. (Lemmings19)
Needless to say, this guide is Copyright 2002-2005 Per Jorner. All rights reserved as regards the writing and general design, except for the background which is stolen. Of course that doesn't mean I have any claims on the information contained within, i.e. I don't mind if you grab every single piece of info and put it in your own walkthrough as long as you use your own words to do it. Feel free to copy this html file and post it somewhere open and relevant on the net, as long as you don't make any changes to it.