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When you first enter Big Town, you'll be stopped by Dusty (#1). He'll tell you that super-mutants attacked the town recently, and that they carried off a couple of residents. This will trigger the side quest
Big Trouble in Big Town
, which will involve you going to the Germantown Police HQ (to the north) and fighting a bunch of super-mutants.
After completing the quest, when you return to Big Town, Red (one of the captives) will ask you to stay and help defend the town from super-mutants. You might have several possible responses here, depending on your skill levels. If your explosives, melee weapons, science, small guns, or sneak skills are over 50, then you'll be able to teach the residents a way to defend themselves from attacks. For example, with the science option you'll be able to activate a pair of robots in the junkyard (#6), and they'll help defend the town against the super-mutants.
Besides the skill answers, you can also offer to take on the super-mutants by yourself, or you can leave the residents to their fate. The super-mutants will always approach from the east and then enter Big Town via the bridge, so if you have some
, you can set up a path of death for them to cross, and kill them pretty easily. If you leave the town to fight for itself, then everybody will get killed when the super-mutants arrive, and the town will stop being a town. If you save the town (including if the residents or robots help you), then you'll gain karma. If you let the town die then nothing will happen to your karma.
Besides the quest (and its aftermath), you won't find much to do in Big Town. If you talk to the residents, you'll learn that they all started out in
, but then had to leave when they got too old. If your medicine skill is high enough, then you can heal Timebomb in the clinic (#4), and he'll give you a
Lucky 8 Ball
after the super-mutants have been dealt with. If you commiserate with Bittercup (#3), then she'll give you a present every day. You can also get your equipment repaired by Pappy, and if Red (#4) survives the rescue, then she'll heal you and sell you medical supplies.
1 - Dusty
Dusty is the official "greeter" for the town. He'll have a mattress next to him, which, unlike all of the other mattresses in the town, you'll be able to sleep on.
2 - Clubhouse
3 - Common House
You'll usually find Bittercup in here. She's a goth chick and a serial dater, and if you're friendly to her, then she'll decide that she likes you (whether you're male or female), and once a day she'll give you a present if you talk to her. The present will always be something minor, like a handful of caps or some ammunition, but it's better than no present at all. "If the mutants get you, come back and haunt me."
4 - Red's Clinic
You'll find a couple things of interest inside the clinic: a copy of the
D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine
, and Timebomb. If your medicine skill is at least 40, then you can stitch Timebomb up (and gain 5 caps if you pass a speech check), or you can kill him (for negative karma or 20 experience points), or you can ignore him. If Timebomb is alive and conscious after the final super-mutant attack, then when you talk to him he'll give you a
Lucky 8 Ball
, which will improve your luck by 1 while it's in your inventory.
5 - Town Hall
6 - Junkyard
Depending on how you decide to help defend Big Town, you might need to demonstrate a weapon here or repair the two robots here.