Vault 13
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In the Beginning

Now that you've entered the world of Fallout, what is there to do? Start out by searching the nearby corpse for some advantageous early equipment, and equip it into your active slots. There are approximately 20 rats in this cave, so consider fighting them using your knife rather than wasting the ammo in your pistol, unless you're running low on hit points. Remember, if you have a fairly high agility, one of the best tactics to use versus melee enemies with only one attack is to first attack yourself and then use your remaining action points to run away from the creature. If possible, use this to your advantage here, and it can help you walk away with approximately half the experience needed for level two when you make it to the exit. There are some quests to be had back inside Vault 13 but to complete them all, some of your stats will likely need to be increased (namely speech), which is why I recommend you stop by at a later time. Plus, to be allowed back in, you'd have to leave the area and wait a day anyway.

To find the cave exit, head straight south (down) from the initial corpse until the dead end, and then head west (left). I'll be using north, east, south and west during this walkthrough and they correspond to Up for North, Right for East, Down for South, and Left for West.

About Exit Grids:

You'll know you're at an exit when you find a micro-dotted grid, either red or green at the edge of a map. The red ones always lead to the World Map. The green ones always lead to different maps within the same area.

You'll be back to Vault 13 again, perhaps twice (or more) in the future, so when you've had enough rats, exit via the red grid in the southwest, and you'll find yourself on the World Map.

About the World Map:

There are twelve explorable locations in Fallout, usually with several maps making up each of them. Each of the explorable locations will be surrounded by a light green circle. During your travels, you'll likely come across many random encounters. Random encounters are mostly hostile, and include radscorpions (which you're not exactly prepared for quite yet), raiders (nor them), mole rats and many others. Whenever you're stopped by a lightning bolt on the map, it's likely hostile encounter. Whenever it's the large target, it's a special, non-hostile encounter. There are several of these, and your chance to hit one is dependent partly on your luck stat. That's enough about the world map.

There will be only two destinations at this point, Vault 15 and Vault 13. Click on the Vault 15 button to begin overland travel to that area, since it may have the water chip you're looking for. It won't. But you'll need to venture there eventually, and it's due east from Vault 13. You can click on any part of the map and travel to it. On your way, wait until you pass another highlighted green explorable area between Vault 13 and Vault 15 and click on it as you pass over it. Even if you miss it, click on it again and you'll travel there. That's Shady Sands, a small town, and you should stop there before Vault 15. The next time you visit Vault 13, come back to this part of the walkthrough and continue. That will be either after you discover the water chip or as a side trip for experience after Shady Sands, Vault 15 and the Raiders.

Vault 13 Areas
  • Cave Entrance: where you begin the game
  • Vault Entrance: 1st level of the vault
  • Living Quarters: 2nd level of the vault
  • Command Center: 3rd level of the vault

Vault 13 Quests

Here is a list of the significant quests in the interior of Vault 13, each with a brief synopsis containing at least one way to solve it. The remaining ways, and possibly other minor quests I will leave up to you. The water chip quest is listed next to last because it's likely you'll complete the others before that.

Dweller Unrest:

On level 2, in the second room on the north side, you'll find Theresa. Save before you speak with her, because completing this "quest" is partially dependent on your speech and intelligence skill.

She's worried that the Overseer is unecessarily keeping them inside the vault. To quell her fears, defend the Overseer's actions by telling her he's only trying to protect the vault dwellers. If she believes you, you'll receive 750xp, and if not, well, this quest will be effectively over. That's why you should save before the conversation, as it's possible to get a different result after re-loading. I will say that there's plenty of xp to get you up to a high level by taking what you get, so don't feel compelled to milk every quest for xp despite your moral save-n-load values because the game "forces you to."

Supplies & Ammunition:

On level 3, the Command Center, head to the southeast, and then east to the room where the Overseer is. Talk to him, and tell him that you're having difficulty finding the water chip. Continue saying that until you have the option to tell him that it would be easier with more weapons and ammo. You'll get some 10mm ammo and a couple stimpaks.

More Weapons & Ammo:

On level 3, the Command Center, find the guard just through the door in the southeast section. He's guarding the armory and will say so if you talk to him. You can convince him to let you in by asking him who has access to the armory, and then by telling him it sounds like only people who need them get access... and then that you need it. He'll either be convinced (again, your speech skill) or not, and let you in. Within the room is a shotgun and lots of ammunition.

Take a Computer Course:

On level 3, the Command Center, the far western room is composed of the "library" complete with computers throughout. Near the entrance on the right side, you'll find a computer that you can use your Science skill on. Use your Science skill on the computer until you receive 350xp. Another computer in the north part of the room will fetch you another 350xp using the same method.

The Water Thief:

On level 2, there are a couple people on the southern half of the floor who may mention the water thief. One is Lyle, in the middle room. The other is the redhead Cindy. It may be better to talk to Cindy as she'll likely tell you outright. The other person is the guard of the armory on level 3, just through the door in the southeast section of the level. Wait until 8am when his shift begins and ask him how he is. He'll then spill about the water thief. Now, head to the northeast room of level 3 and wait until Midnight (using the Pipboy or the 'z' key of course). Stay there as you see a vault dweller roaming the main hallway. Watch as he wanders south, looks around, and then heads into the locker room. Wait until he comes out and then confront him.

Ask him about the water thief, and threaten him if you have to. After it's over, search his body and you'll receive a nice 1000xp for catching the water thief.

The Water Chip Quest:

When you have the water chip, head to level 3 and speak with the Overseer. You'll get an extremely helpful 7,500xp and learn about the Mutant threat to Vault 13. In Fallout 1.0, you'd then have either a total of 400 or 500 days game time to solve this new mutant threat, which includes taking out the mutant laboratory at the Military Base, and taking out the mutant Master at the Cathedral. This is including the time it took you to find the water chip. In version 1.1, you'll have over a decade to eliminate the mutant threats... so upgrade and be happy.

The Mutant Threats:

The Overseer on level 3 gives you these two quests after returning the water chip, or you may find them on your own through careful exploration and solve the game without even returning the water chip (i.e., before the water chip time limit expires). The two new quests are to find and elminate the Master at the Cathedral (though your character won't know where at this point), and to destroy the laboratory at the Military Base (which again your character will likely be ignorant of at this time). After doing both, you'll automatically win the game. There you have it... the end goals.