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To get SF on your map, you'll need the map found at the Military Base outside in the NE tent, or you can simply walk or drive to the coast and find its green circle near where it is on today's California maps... though a bit south.
For reaching the Enclave, great items, stat increases and xp, I'd suggest beginning with quest #17 (which will take you to Navarro) to get the vertibird plans for the Brotherhood of Steel. That will allow access into their base and net you more xp than if you gave the plans to another group first. The Brotherhood of Steel is also the place to go to upgrade four of your SPECIAL stats with the memory modules you've received up to this point. There are four of them, so see quest #17 for complete details.
Your main goal in SF is to use the (as of now) broken down tanker to reach the Enclave. To do that, you'll need to complete quests #2 (NavCom parts), #3 (Tanker FOB from Navarro) and #11 (divert fuel to the Tanker) and to complete those... see their details. Once you do, you can reach the Enclave by using the computer on the ship's bridge near the captain to set sail. Simply enter the command "go."
Two merchants of interest in SF, both with prime merchandise. You enter in Chinatown. To the east and slightly south is the Red 888 Guns shop and in the western building you'll have to find the door within the transparent wall to enter the Flying Dragon 8 shop. Search the separate tables for different bartering items.
The Dragon and Lo Pan in Chinatown are rivals. The Dragon is good and Lo Pan, evil. Simply watch them fight in the center ring of Chinatown, and then talk to either to start quests #13 and #14. If you are of the same alignment as the one you're talking to, they'll train you up to 100% in Unarmed combat.
Directly north of Chinatown and through the gate is the tanker (and a couple shops within), in which your main goal of the game is to fix and head to the Enclave. Through the gate and to the east is a space shuttle, and stairs nearby to the Hubologist base.
For reaching the Enclave and great items, stat increases and xp, I'd suggest beginning with quest #17 (which will first take you to Navarro) to get the vertibird plans for the Brotherhood of Steel. That will allow you to get more xp than if you gave the plans to another group.
One last thing. Quests #1 and #6 are mutually exclusive. You can only initiate one of them since if you first give the plans to either the Hubologists or Shi, they are gone and you won't be able to give them to the other faction. Your best bet is to give them to the Brotherhood of Steel first (see #17) and then decide which of the other groups to give the original plans to for more xp, as stated above.
Quests & Opportunities
Here is a list of some of the quests and other opportunities in NSF, 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.
1. Steal the vertibird plans from the Hubologists:
After you've taken the vertibird plans from Navarro (see quest #17 first, or quest #5, or quest #10), and give them to the Hubologists, you'll get this quest from Ken Lee in the throne room of the Shi Temple to the east of Chinatown. To steal them, talk to Dave Handy outside of the Hubologist base and ask him to copy them for you, or go to the tanker north of Chinatown and ask Badger to hack into the computer once you do quest #12. Return with the plans for a nice dose of xp.
2. The navigation computer needs the NavComp part to work:
On the lower level of the tanker (north of Chinatown), inside the locked door on the western side, take the ladder up to a special area with a couple computers, and you'll need to bring the NavCom parts you found in Vault 13's level 3 (see the top of that page for details). To access the navigation computer in the first place, you'll need to complete quest #3... which means you'll need to go to Navarro, so see quest #17, quest #5 or quest #10.
3. You need to use a FOB to access the navigation computer:
You can get this quest from the Captain of the tanker (north of Chinatown) after you've done either quest #12 or #15, or by examining the lock mechanism near the locked door on the western end of the lower level of the tanker. You'll need the FOB from Navarro to gain access to the computer that's through the locked door. You'll also need the NavCom parts from Vault 13 (see quest #2 above) once you get access to the computer. There are several ways to get to Navarro, the easiest being to talk with Matthew of the Brotherhood during quest #17.
4. Kill the Shi emperor:
First find and enter the Hubologist headquarters, which is off the exit grid in the northeast of Chinatown, and then down a set of spiral stairs. You'll have to first become a Hubologist in order to get this quest... which means completing quest #8, or alternatively you can get quest #9 if you want to avoid becoming a Hubologist. If you killed Badger during quest #8, you can just talk with AHS-7 near the spiral stairs just inside the headquarters for this new quest. If you've already been to the Shi temple and got quest #9, you'll want to make your way to the man in the suit on the far northeast of the building, AHS-9, and he'll counter with this one.
Basically, you'll need to infiltrate the Shi Temple, kill Ken Lee in the throne room, and format the hard drive of the "Emperor" through the door at the back of the same room. To do that you'll need to hack into the computer and likely turn the whole Shi base against you.
5. The Hubologists need plans for a vertibird from Navarro:
First you'll need to become a Hubologist and get quest #8. When you do that you can go back up to the shuttle area and speak with Harry the rocket technician. Ask about him and he'll give you this quest. See Navarro for details. When you have the plans, you'll likely want to first give them to the Brotherhood of Steel, and then choose either the Hubologists or the Shi to give the originals. Or keep them.
6. Steal the vertibird plans from the Shi:
If you've given the vertiberd plans you got from Navarro (see quest #17, #5 or #10) to Ken Lee of the Shi Temple, talk to Harry at the space shuttle northeast of Chinatown, and you can get Badger to hack into the Shi computer if you've done quest #12.
7. The Hubologists need fuel for their spaceship:
Talk to Harry at the Hubologist space shuttle after you've completed his previous quests, and he'll give you this. You can either divert fuel from the Shi computers (use the mainframe to the east of the throne room) or tackle quest #16.
8. Kill Badger so the tanker vagrants will embrace the Hub:
You'll have to become a Hubologist to initiate this series of quests, beginning with this one. Go to the Hubologist headquarters northeast of Chinatown and down a set of spiral stairs. Talk to AHS-7 in robes and ask to become a Hubologist. Now talk with the Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman-esque celebrities in the northern section of the base. After that's done, go back to AHS-7 and get the scan if you didn't already from the Hubologist in NCR. After this process, talk to him again to receive this quest.
Badger is in the tanker north of Chinatown. After you kill him, report back to AHS-7 for your reward and to receive quest #4.
9. Kill the AHS-9:
This is the Shi Temple's second quest. See quest #10 for their first. When you return the vertibird plans to Ken Lee in the throne room, he'll give you this quest. Once you infiltrate the Hubologist base northeast of Chinatown and kill AHS-9 in the northeast section of that building, report back to Ken Lee for a reward and the password to their computer.
10. The Shi need plans for a vertibird from Navarro:
This is the Shi Temple's first quest, receive from Ken Lee in the throne room. The Shi Temple is off the eastern exit grid from Chinatown, and the throne room is on the east side of their base. When you get the plans from Navarro (see the Navarro page), you can return them to either Ken Lee, AHS-7 or AHS-9 of the Hubologists, or the Brotherhood of Steel (see quest #17). I'd recommend Brotherhood of Steel first and then choose which faction to give them to beyond that.
11. The tanker needs fuel:
You can get this quest in two ways, from either the nav computer, the bridge computer or the captain himself, also naturally found on the bridge. To access the nav computer see quest #3 first. To talk with the captain you must first complete either quest #12 or #15. To get the fuel to the tanker after you receive the quest, there are several ways, some of which I'll list here: complete quest #16 and then ask Dr. Jing; ask Badger to hack into a computer after completing quest #12; hacking into a Shi computer in their temple to the east of Chinatown. There are a few more.
12. Find Badger's girlfriend in the hold below the ship:
Enter the tanker off the exit grid north of Chinatown and find the computer hacker named Badger in the middle of the main level. You do not need to actually get this quest from him before you try and rescue her as she'll be there regardless. To officially get this quest, however, you'll need to first be able to ask him for a favor and the easiest way if you haven't yet done any other quests is to enter the bar on the east side of the ship, go up the stairs and access the computer there. You'll find that it needs fuel. You can now ask him about the fuel and he'll first ask you to find his girlfriend, who is standing in the northeast corner down the ladder near Badger (which can be reached in several other ways as well). When you go down, be prepared to fight a lot of wanamingo "aliens," floaters and centaurs. Once you talk to his girlfriend and wait while she runs up the stairs, he'll hack into any computer for you (to divert fuel when you need it) since he owes you. The captain above the bar will now talk to you and can give you several important quests if you do not already have them.
13. The Dragon wants you to take out Lo Pan - hand to hand:
With your Unarmed skill at 125% or greater, you can challenge the Dragon but you will not get this quest. For more xp and no skill check, challenge him to a test of skills. You'll need to fight through six of his men, and when you come back to the Dragon you'll get this quest. Simply go challenge Lo Pan, take him down and return. Do not use weapons else you'll be fighting the whole town.
14. Lo Pan wants you to take out the Dragon - hand to hand, if possible:
This is exactly the same as quest #12 but with another NPC. With your Unarmed skill at 125% or greater, you can challenge Lo Pan to combat but you won't get the quest that way. For more xp and no skill check, challenge him to a test of skills. After you fight through six of his men, return to Lo Pan and he'll assign you this task. Now challenge the Dragon, kill him and return to Lo Pan for your reward.
15. Get Chip's spleen:
Find Chip south of the general store in the tanker (north of Chinatown), and he'll mention Lao Chou has his spleen. Go to the store west of the entrance of Chinatown and ask Lao and you'll be referred to Dr. Wong of the Shi Temple. Head to the east of Chinatown into the temple and seek out Dr. Wong. Tell him that the spleen is human and you'll get your spleen. Now seek out Dr. Fung in Chinatown and ask him to perform the operation. He'll either do it for free or charge you $1000 depending on your meeting with Doc Holliday in Broken Hills. After 24 hours, return to Chip for your reward and the captain above the bar will now talk to you to give you several quests.
16. Get some hardened power armor from Crockett:
First you'll need to have a "get fuel" quest still active. There are several in SF. Seek out Dr. Jing in the Shi Temple (east of Chinatown), who's on the southern end of the building. Ask about the fuel (for any of the quests) and you'll get this one. Find some power armor and have it upgraded by Crokett in the Hubologist camp here northeast of Chinatown. Bring it back to Dr. Jing and he'll be able to satisfy your fuel needs or pay you a large sum of money for the armor.
17. Get the vertibird plans for the Brotherhood of Steel:
The Brotherhood of Steel is a great place for xp, items and stat increases from the computer terminal. It's located on the southwest side of Chinatown and you'll find Matthew standing in front, ready to give you all the details on the vertiberd quest. You're to infiltrate Navarro (see the Navarro page), preferably alone (so leave your party members here), find the vertiberd plans and bring them back to him. He'll simply make a copy of them, so that you can do either the Hubologist quest #5 or Shi quest #10 if you feel like it. Once you bring back the plans to Matthew, you'll get full access to the Brotherhood and a huge dose of xp, well worth it. A good place to go for the next step to the Enclave is quest #12
For the stat increases, all you need to present the terminal inside the Brotherhood is one of four colored modules, and then wait until the process for each stat upgrade finishes, which takes a number of weeks per module. Here are the details:
- Red Memory Module (Strength): 2 weeks
Found in Vault City, on level 2 of the vault. You must pry open the jammed doors with a high strength (use drugs or crowbar if you require assistance).
- Yellow Memory Module (Intelligence): 4 weeks
Found at the Sierra Army Base, level 1 (see the New Reno section) within a locker on the southeast side of the level
- Green Memory Module (Perception): 2 weeks
Found at the Military Base, level 3 on the southeast side of the level
- Blue Memory Module (Charisma): 3 weeks
Found in Navarro, on the underground level in the locker room