Side Quest: Big Trouble in Big Town

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When you first enter Big Town, a guard named Dusty will stop you and tell you that super-mutants recently attacked the town and carried off some residents. This will trigger the quest.


To get the quest rolling, you'll need to talk to the town's remaining residents and find out what happened. This shouldn't be too difficult, since everybody in town will want to share the gory details. You'll learn that super-mutants (and slavers) come to Big Town on a regular basis, that the super-mutants have a base in the Germantown Police HQ (located to the north), and that that's where you should go to search for survivors.

When you first arrive at the HQ building, you'll find it surrounded by a chain-link fence with a handful of super-mutants patrolling around it. After dispatching the super-mutants, take some time to explore the area. You'll find a first aid box inside one of the tents, and you'll find a computer terminal outside on a table. If you read the files on the computer, you'll learn a little more about the atomic war 200 years ago. You'll also find a bunch of beds inside the tents. Be sure to heal up before heading inside.

There are two entrances into the HQ building. The one on the main level (Exit A) starts out locked with a "very hard" lock, and so you'll probably need to climb the stairs on the back side of the building to reach the entrance to the top level (Exit B).

Note: Be careful as you explore the building. You'll stumble over numerous Frag Mines inside, especially next to computers.

You'll only encounter a few super-mutants inside the building. If you want to, you can simply sneak past them, but since you'll only find them at most two at a time, you might as well kill them for the experience points and gear.

You'll find one of the captives, Red (#10), in a cell on the main level of the building. You'll probably need to pick up the key to her cell (#8, #12), or the password to the lockdown computer next to her cell (#3), to free her. When you do, she'll tell you that another captive, Shorty (#12), got dragged down into the basement and might still be alive. Rescuing Red is mandatory for the quest, but Shorty is optional. However, since the basement has some good loot in it and since you'll only find one additional super-mutant there, you might as well go down there and grab Shorty as well.

Note: You'll receive karma for freeing Red and Shorty.

If you killed the super-mutants in the HQ building, then getting the captives out will be trivial. Otherwise, you might want to give them weapons, and then carefully make your way out. The exit on the main level (Exit A) should be unlocked now, so head to it rather than the one on the upper level (Exit B). When you exit the building, you won't need to walk all the way back to Big Town; you can just fast travel there, and Red and Shorty will follow you.

When you return to Big Town, if Red got killed en route, then you'll earn 200 caps, but you'll fail the quest, and nothing more will happen. If you arrive in Big Town with Red (with or without Shorty), then you'll receive 300 caps and 300 experience points. If you pass a speech check then you can gain 200 caps more but lose karma. If you're feeling generous then you can decline the reward and only gain karma. If Red survived, then that's who you should talk to for your quest reward. If Red didn't survive, then most of the residents will be able to give you your failure money.

After completing the quest, Red will ask you to help defend the town. This is covered in the Big Town location entry.

Note: Be sure to keep Red alive! Not only is she required for this quest, she's also involved in the side quest Strictly Business.

1 - Impound Information Terminal

There isn't anything important on the computer, but you can gain some experience by hacking into it.

2 - Super-Mutants

If you eavesdrop on the two super-mutants here, you'll hear them talking about their prisoners, and how they'll need more before they can "return home." You'll also find a first aid box nearby.

3 - Terminal / Safe / Password

On the desk here you'll find a computer terminal. Hacking into it will allow you to open the safe on the floor. You can also just pick open the safe. Next to the computer you can grab the password for the lockdown computer (#10).

4 - Skill Book

You'll find a copy of the D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine plus some Med-X and a first aid box here.

5 - Gory Room

You'll find some gore bags, an ammunition box, a first aid box, an Assault Rifle, and more in this room.

6 - 911 Terminal Room

You can listen to some 911 calls on the terminals in this room. You can also use the terminals to turn on the station alarm, but we're not sure why you'd want to do that.

7 - Blocked Door

The game will indicate that you can open this door with the right key, but no such key exists. It isn't possible to go through this door.

8 - Super-Mutant Brute

Somewhere around here you should encounter a super-mutant brute with a jailor's key. You might need that key to open Red's cell (#10).

9 - Armory

To get into the armory, you'll either need to pick the door (which requires 50 lockpick), or you'll need to hack the computer next to the door (which requires 75 science). If you can get inside the armory then you'll be happy: you'll find a bunch of guns (including a Combat Shotgun, an Assault Rifle, and a Laser Rifle), lots of ammunition, and lots of meds.

10 - Red's Cell

To open Red's cell, you'll either need to open the cell door directly or you'll need to use the lockdown computer next to it. To help with the former you can get a jailor's key from a couple of super-mutants inside the building (#8, #12). To help with the latter you can get the lockdown computer password from a desk on the top level (#3).

When you open the cell door, your objective will change. You'll now need to escort Red back to Big Town. Red will also start up a conversation with you. She'll tell you that another captive, Shorty, was dragged down into the "kitchen" (#12), and that he might still be alive. You'll then receive an optional objective to rescue Shorty, too.

You'll find a bed in Red's cell (and in all of the other cells as well) that you can sleep in. You might want to do that before venturing down into the basement.

11 - Storage Room

If you can pick the lock on the door here, then inside the storage room you'll find a Combat Shotgun, a Fat Man missile launcher, a copy of Tumblers Today, some ammunition, and more.

12 - Shorty

You'll find Shorty with a super-mutant captor here. When you kill the super-mutant, you'll find a jailor's key on its corpse. You might need the key to unlock Red's cell on the main floor (#10). Then just talk to Shorty to get him to follow you.

13 - Nuka-Cola Quantum

You'll find a bottle of Nuka-Cola Quantum in the closet here. You might need it for the side quest The Nuka-Cola Challenge.

  1. Exit to the wasteland. The door here will start out locked, but it will open by the time you reach it from inside the HQ building, meaning that you can use it to exit the building after you've rescued the captives (#10, #12).
  2. Exit to the wasteland.
  3. Stairs between the top level and the main level.
  4. Stairs between the main level and the basement level.