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This is a quest guide for all quests that are a part of Fallout 3's main quest. Listed are solutions for any step you may have problems with (most steps are self-evident) and general pointers about steps. Rewards listed are only items tied directly to the quest, they do not include all items you can gain along the way.
Locations mentioned can be found in our maps section.
- Baby Steps
- Growing Up Fast
- Future Imperfect
- Following in His Footsteps
- Galaxy News Radio
- Scientific Pursuits
- Tranquility Lane
- The Waters of Life
- Picking up the Trail
- Rescue from Paradise
- Finding the Garden of Eden
- The American Dream
- Take It Back
Walk to Dad
Open the playpen's gate
Exit the playpen
Look at the "You're Special" book
|Growing Up Fast|
Enjoy the Party and speak with the guests
Shoot all three targets with the BB Gun
Use the BB Gun to kill the Radroach
- Grognak the Barbarian from Amata
- Sweetroll from Old Lady Palmer
- Kid's Baseball Cap from Stanley
- BB Gun and 50 BBs from Dad
Get to class and talk to Mr. Brotch about the G.O.A.T. You will run into Butch and the Tunnel Snakes picking on Amata on the way there.
- SpeechBoy: convince Butch that the Overseer will come down hard on him (speech check)
- SpeechBoy: encourage Butch to taunt Amata until she runs away
- CombatBoy: beat up Butch to half his health
- CombatBoy: get beat up to half your health
Sit down and take your G.O.A.T.
Turn in the G.O.A.T. to Mr. Brotch
Exit the Classroom
Enter the Overseer's office On the way there, you will run into several guards fighting radroaches or panicked vault dwellers.
- CombatBoy: kill them. Most of them are push-overs, only chief Hannon might pose a slight challenge
- StealthBoy: sneak past the guards. This will work for most guards but not for chief Hannon
You will also run into Butch. Butch will ask you to save his mother, who is being attacked by radroaches.
- SpeechBoy: convince Butch to help his mother by himself
- CombatBoy: kill the radroaches
- CombatBoy: kill Butch and his mom
Continue on the find the Overseer and officer Mack interrogating Amata.
- Walk on by
- CombatBoy: storm in and kill officer Mack or (if Amata still has the 10mm pistol) she will use it on Officer Mack, following that you can talk to the Overseer to get his office key and terminal password or kill him
- StealthBoy: sneak in and steal the key and password
Use the Overseer's computer to access the secret tunnel Either hack his computer or take the password from the locker.
Escape the Vault
- 10mm pistol from Amata
- Tunnel Snake Outfit from Butch
|Following in His Footsteps|
Investigate the nearby town of Megaton for information about Dad Talk to sheriff Lucas Simms in Megaton to find out Colin Moiriarty is the guy to ask.
Speak to Colin Moriarty about Dad
- Pay Colin Moriarty for the info
- Resolve 300 pieces of Silver quest for Moriarty
- SpeechBoy: with the Lady Killer perk, talk to Nova
- SpeechBoy: pick the "Dad talked about you all the time" option for Colin Moriarty
- ScienceBoy: hack Moriarty's computer, in the back of the bar
Find Galaxy News Radio The easiest route is to go into Farragut West Metro Station, following the flaming barrels/GNR graffity to Friendship Heights, then Chevy Chase North, where you will meet up with Lyon's Pride. Follow them.
Retrieve the Fat Man from the dead Brotherhood soldier
Help defeat the Super Mutant Behemoth Tip: keep your distance and use V.A.T.S. to shoot with the Fat Man. If you have followers that use close combat, it's best to have left them behind earlier.
Ask Three Dog about Dad
- Help Three Dog in the Galaxy News Radio quest
- SpeechBoy: the Galaxy News Radio part of the main quest is skippable with a speech check
|Galaxy News Radio|
Find the Museum of Technology Simply reach the Mall to get to the Museum of Technology. There are a myriad of routes to the Mall, going via any the Mall or Penn Ave metro route will work. Once at the Mall, it might be advisable to sneak and avoid the warzone in the center.
Retrieve the Communications Relay Dish
Find the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is also in the Mall and visible in the distance. Simply head west.
Speak to Three Dog about Dad
Talk to Doctor Li about Dad and Project Purity
Look for Dad in Project Purity's Control Room
Search for Dad's holotapes for clues to his location The three journal entries in the rotunda (5, 8 and 10) are the only ones obligatory for this step.
Gain access to Vault 112 Smith Casey's Garage contains the entrance to Vault 112.
Put on a Vault 112 suit
Sit in the unoccupied 'Tranquility Lounger'
- Stimpaks from Doctor Li
Find Dad The dog is your dad. But that info won't help you.
Find and speak to Betty Betty is Stanislaus Braun. Follow his instructions as listed below (negative karma) or use the Failsafe device (positive karma).
The Failsafe device can be found in the Abandoned House. To make it show up, use the items in the living room in the following order: radio, pitcher, gnome, pitcher, cinder block, gnome, bottle. Select the Chinese Invasion option and go back to talk with Betty.
Make Timmy Neusbaum cry
- Pick up the Military School Brochure in the Neusbaum Residence and show it to Timmy
- SpeechBoy: convince Timmy his parents will break up
- CombatBoy: beat up Timmy
- CombatBoy: kill one of Timmy's parents
Report back to Betty
Break up the Rockwell's marriage without killing either of them
- Take the lacy underwear from the Simpson Residence and put it on the table in the Rockwell Residence basement. Tell Janet to go to the basement. Tell Janet the underwear is Martha's or alternatively that it's Roger's
- SpeechBoy: tell Janet you caught Roger kissing another woman
- CombatBoy: Pick up the rolling pin from the Rockwell Residence, kill Martha with it and tell Roger that Janet did it
Report back to Betty
Arrange a creative death for Mabel Henderson
- Weaken the chain supporting the chandelier in the front room
- Go to the kitchen, access the wall terminal. Initialize Security Program and Disable Security Screening for Mister Handy to kill Mabel. Make sure she is in the house when you do this or Mister Handy will turn on you, and the door is locked until Mabel is dead
- Fiddle with the pilot light and ask mabel for a pie
- If Mabel is upstairs, push the roller skate to the top of the first step
Report back to Betty
Retrieve the mask and knife from behind the Abandoned House
Report back to Betty
Exit Tranquility Lane
|The Waters of Life|
Go to the Rivet City Science Lab You can accompany your dad, but he's immortal anyway, so feel free to just wander off and do something else while he runs the distance.
Join the scientists at Project Purity
Clear Project Purity of any remaining Mutant threat This will not show up if you cleared out all of Jefferson Memorial earlier.
Tell Dad it's safe to enter Project Purity
Escort the scientists inside Project Purity
Turn on the flood control pumps
Get the fuses from Dad
Replace the damaged fuses
Boot up the mainframe
Speak with Dad over the intercom
Drain the intake pipes
Return to the control room
Escort Doctor Li to the evacuation point Note for the following steps: only Doctor Li's survival is essential, saving the other scientists is optional.
Escort Doctor Li through Taft Tunnel to the Citadel One of your first challenges is getting past a room full of Enclave soldiers.
- CombatBoy: have Doctor Li hack the terminal as you deal with the Enclave
- ScienceBoy: hack the terminal to open the door and usher the scientists past
- StealthBoy: sneak past the open doorway to the south
Deal with the Garza 'situation'
- Simply wait around until Garza dies
- Give Garza or Doctor Li five Stimpaks
- SpeechBoy: convince Garza or Doctor Li that Garza should stay behind
- SpeechBoy: convince Doctor Li to use three Buffout instead of the Stimpaks. You will still have to provide them
- CombatBoy: shoot Garza
|Picking up the Trail|
Ask Scribe Rothchild for pre-war computer access
Use the Vault-Tec computer in the Citadel Archives to learn the location of a G.E.C.K. It's in Vault 87
Ask Scribe Rothchild for information about Vault 87
Search Lamplight Caverns for a way into Vault 87 To gain access to Little Lamplight, you have to convince Major MacCready.
- Complete the main quest Rescue from Paradise, listed below
- SpeechBoy: convince MacCready either with a speech check or with the Child at Heart perk
Enter Vault 87
- CombatBoy: convince Major MacCready to open the way to Murder Pass and fight your way through
- ScienceBoy: ask Joseph to power up the generator to the back entrance and hack the terminal to open the door
|Rescue from Paradise|
Gain entrance to Paradise Falls
- With very low karma, you are let into Paradise Falls
- Resolve one capture of the Strictly Business quest from Grouse
- SpeechBoy: convince Grouse to let you in. Still needs a bribe of 500 caps
- CombatBoy: gun your way in
Find and speak with the kidnapped Lamplighters
- Go along with Squirrel's plan for a breakout (see steps below)
- Buy the kids from Eulogy Jones for 2000 caps
- SpeechBoy: barter Eulogy Jones down to 1200 caps
- CombatBoy: kill all the slavers
Connect the department store computer to the Paradise Falls secure network
- ScienceBoy: repair the junction box in the food area
- ScienceBoy: hack the computer in Eulogy's pad
Tell Squirrel the computer is now connected to the network
Arrange for Forty to be away from the slave pen
- Bribe Crimson to service Forty for 100 caps. Make sure Eulogy Jones is not nearby
- SpeechBoy: convince Crimson to service Forty. Make sure Eulogy Jones is not nearby
- SpeechBoy: convince Forty he is undervalued
Tell Squirrel the guard has been distracted Squirrel and Sammy won't leave without Penny
- Convince Penny to leave with the steps below
- SpeechBoy: convince Squirrel and Sammy to leave without Penny
Speak with Penny and convince her to leave Paradise Falls
- Free Rory with the steps below
- SpeechBoy: convince Penny to leave Rory behind
Find a way to release Rory Maclaren from the box
- CombatBoy: kill Eulogy Jones or Forty for the key and kill all the slavers so Rory can escape
- StealthBoy: steal the key from Eulogy Jones or Forty, then sneak out with Forty. Higher chance of success at night. If Rory is attacked, you can simply leave him to get killed, the slavers won't turn on you unless you attack
Talk to Penny and tell her to leave Paradise Falls
Meet the children southwest of Paradise Falls
|Finding the Garden of Eden|
Retrieve the G.E.C.K.
- CombatBoy: fight your way through Vault 87
- StealthBoy: sneak your way through Vault 87
Rescue Fawkes from the Observation Cells Fawkes will offer to help you through Vault 87 and in retrieving the G.E.C.K. It is advisable to take him up on it, but it is not obligatory, as you can retrieve the G.E.C.K. yourself as long as you have protective clothing (including a Power Armor) and plenty of Rad-X and RadAway.
- Activate the Fire Console Control to open all five isolation room doors.
- ScienceBoy: hack the medical wing maintenance terminal and open isolation room 5
Escape from Vault 87
|The American Dream|
Retrieve equipment from the locker
Meet President Eden in his office An Enclave Officer will question you as you exit the cell.
- If you have high Strength, intimidate him
- If you have high Charisma, tell him you'll put in a good word with the president
- SpeechBoy: tell him you're supposed to be here
- CombatBoy: kill him
Note: everyone will turn hostile as you leave area 3 by order of Colonel Autumn. Until that point, there is a good chance the AI will mess up and they will not turn hostile no matter what. Freely shoot all soldiers and scientists you see before leaving area 3. Either way, you will have to get through the base to President Eden.
- CombatBoy: shoot your way through
- StealthBoy: sneak (and run) your way through
Take the modified vial of F.E.V. Eden will force you to pick up the vial before he opens the doors. No matter what you say, he will send his robots and turrets to help you escape.
- SpeechBoy: convince Eden to blow himself and the base up once you're out
- ScienceBoy: convince Eden he is an abortion of science, he will blow himself and the base up once you're out
Note that getting Eden to blow up Raven Rock has 0 effect on the remainder of the game
Escape the Enclave base
Report to Elder Lyons at the Citadel Fawkes will meet up with you after you exit the base. He can be recruited with positive karma, but note that your follower(s) did not get killed in Vault 87. Dogmeat can be found at Vault 101, and whatever follower you had can be found back at the point you recruited him or her from.
Once you're back in the Citadel, do note that telling Lyons about the F.E.V. from Eden has him take it from you, thus limiting your endgame options.
- Power Armor or Recon Power Armor from Sarah Lyons
|Take It Back|
Prepare for battle, and then report to Sarah Lyons
Follow Liberty Prime as he makes his way to the Purifier
Reach the Project Purity Control Room Once you enter the control room, you can not exit.
Secure the Project Purity Control Room
- SpeechBoy: convince Colonel Autumn to leave
- CombatBoy: kill Autumn and the two Enclave troopers
Ativate Project Purity After that, either you or Sarah Lyons must activate purity and die in doing so. The code is 2-1-6 (after the Bible verse). Even if you have followers who are immune to radiation, they will not go in. There are three possible ending-impacting paths.
- Enter yourself
- Convince Sarah Lyons to go in
- Let the whole thing blow up. Either tell Sarah to go in but never give her the code, or never cycle the airlock, or tell her you'll go yourself but don't
Infect the Project Purity water supply Before you (or Lyons) enter the purifier room itself, you can slide the F.E.V. into the Auxiliary Filtration Input system.
The possible endings are:
And so it was that the lone wanderer ventured forth from Vault 101, intent on discovering the fate of a father who had once sacrificed the future of humanity for that of his only child.
Part 2 - Positive Karma
The Capital Wasteland proved a cruel, inhospitable place – but the lone wanderer refused to surrender to the vices that had claimed so many others. The values passed on from father to child – selflessness, compassion, honor – guided this noble soul through countless trials and triumphs.
Additionally, one of three slides will be shown:
- Lincoln Memorial with Lincoln's head attached: if you sided with the ex-slaver in The Head of State quest
- Agatha playing the violin: if you did not complete Head of State and brought the violin to Agatha in Agatha's Song quest
- Scenes about selflessness, compassion, and honor: if you did neither of the above
Part 2 - Negative Karma
The Capital Wasteland proved a cruel, inhospitable place – and the lone wanderer ultimately surrendered to the vices that had claimed so many others. Selfishness, greed, cruelty – these were the values that guided a lost soul through countless trials and triumphs.
Additionally, one of three slides will be shown:
- Remain of Megaton: if you destroyed Megaton in The Power of the Atom quest
- Harold on fire: if you did not blow up Megaton and burned Harold in Oasis quest
- Scenes about selfishness, greed, and cruelty: if you did neither of the above
Part 2 - Neutral Karma
The Capital Wasteland proved a cruel, inhospitable place.
Part 3 - Player dies
But it was not until the end of this long road that the lone wanderer learned the true meaning of that greatest of virtues -- sacrifice. Stepping into the irradiated control chamber of Project Purity, the child followed the example of the father, sacrificing life itself for the greater good of mankind.
Part 3 - Player lives
It was not until the end of this long road that the lone wanderer was faced with that greatest of virtues -- sacrifice. But the child refused the follow the father’s selfless example…instead allowing a true hero to venture into the irradiated control chamber of Project Purity, and sacrifice her own life for the greater good of mankind.
Part 3 - Timer runs out
It was not until the end of this long road that the lone wanderer was faced with that greatest of virtues -- sacrifice. But the child refused the follow the father’s selfless example.
Part 4 is not shown after this ending
Part 4 - Player does not put in the FEV vial
Thankfully, when selected by the sinister President to be his instrument of annihilation, the wanderer refused. Humanity, with all its flaws, was deemed worthy of preservation. The waters of life flowed at last – free and pure, for any and all. The Capital Wasteland, at long last, was saved.
Different slides are shown with this narration depending on if you did or did not blow up Raven Rock.
Part 4 - Player does puts in the FEV vial
Sadly, when selected by the sinister President to be his instrument of annihilation, the wanderer agreed. Humanity would be preserved, but only in its purest form. The waters of life flowed at last – but the virus contained within soon eradicated all those deemed unworthy of salvation. The Capital Wasteland, despite its progress, became a graveyard.
So ends the story of the lone wanderer, who stepped through the great door of Vault 101, and into the annals of legend. But the tale of humanity will never come to a close, for the struggle of survival is a war without end. And war… war never changes.
The ending slide here depends on the player's gender.
Part 6 shows a picture of the wanderer with his/her dad, with 8 possible configurations of gender/race.
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