Main Quest: Picking up the Trail

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Quest Note

For more information about what you can see and do in the Citadel and Little Lamplight, please refer to their location entries.


When you enter the Citadel, you'll witness a conversation between Dr. Li and Elder Lyons. Dr. Li will tell the elder about what just happened in the Jefferson Memorial, including the attack by the Enclave and the death of your father, and then she'll come up to you and tell you to seek out Scribe Rothchild, who you'll find in the laboratory.

Scribe Rothchild won't know where to find a G.E.C.K., but he'll suggest that you access the Vault-Tech terminal in the library (in the A ring) and check there. If you read enough of the files, then you'll discover that a G.E.C.K. was assigned to Vault 87. When you relay this information to Rothchild, he'll show you the location of Vault 87 -- but he'll also point out a problem. Apparently, the entrance to the vault is so irradiated that it can't be used, but he'll speculate that you might be able to find another way into it via the Lamplight cave system.

When you arrive in Little Lamplight, you'll be stopped at the front gate by a kid named Mayor MacCready (#1). He'll tell you that he doesn't trust "mungos" (adults), and so, unless you have the Child at Heart perk or pass a speech check, he won't open the gate for you. To get him to open the gate, you'll have to complete the main quest Rescue from Paradise, which will involve you going to Paradise Falls and rescuing the child slaves Sammy, Squirrel, and Penny.

Note: If MacCready doesn't require you to complete Rescue from Paradise, you can still trigger that quest by going to Paradise Falls and talking to Sammy.

After getting inside Little Lamplight, if you ask Mayor MacCready about Vault 87, then he'll tell you that there are two doors leading to it, but that one of them doesn't work. This will give you two ways to proceed.

Route 1: Murder Pass

For this route, keep talking to Mayor MacCready, and tell him that you'd like to enter Vault 87 via Murder Pass. This will cause MacCready to travel north to the back gate (#3) and open it up for you. With the back gate open, you'll be able to access Murder Pass (via Exit C).

Inside Murder Pass, you'll encounter lots of super-mutants and traps, but you'll also find lots of supplies and skill books (#4 and #6), so you might want to take this route even if you can take the other one. Eventually you'll come to a door leading to Vault 87 (Exit E), and when you go through it the quest will come to an end.

Route 2: Reactor Chamber Door

After talking to MacCready, you should track down Joseph, who sometimes shows up in the "office building" (#2) next to the front gate (#1), but who otherwise wanders all over the caverns. Joseph is the schoolteacher, but he also knows about the reactor chamber door (Exit D). If you ask him about the door, then he'll offer to power up the terminal next to it, but he'll tell you that he doesn't know the terminal's password.

When you reach the terminal, you'll discover that it only has "average" encryption. If you can hack into it, then you'll be able to unlock the reactor chamber door and enter Vault 87 immediately. Otherwise you'll have to go through Murder Pass. If you go through the door the quest will come to an end.

1 - Front Gate

2 - Office Building

3 - Back Gate

4 - Camp

In the small camp here you'll find two ammunition boxes, a grenade box, and a copy of Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor.

5 - Camps

In these two small camps you'll find five first aid boxes and two ammunition boxes.

6 - Table

On or near the table here you'll find two ammunition boxes, two first aid boxes, and a copy of U.S. Army: 30 Handy Flamethrower Recipes.

7 - Shelf

In this shelf you'll find two ammunition boxes, a first aid box, and a bottle of Nuka-Cola Quantum.

  1. Exit to the wasteland.
  2. Door between Lamplight Caverns and the Great Chamber.
  3. Door between Lamplight Caverns and Murder Pass.
  4. Locked door to Vault 87 (Reactor Chamber).
  5. Door to Vault 87 (Reactor Chamber).