Side Quest: The Power of the Atom

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You can get this quest from Lucas Simms (#1) or Mister Burke (#2) in Megaton.


Lucas Simms will ask you to disarm the bomb in the center of Megaton (#3). He'll offer you 100 caps for the job, but if you pass a speech check then you can increase that reward to 500 caps. You can also offer to disarm the bomb for free, and in that case you'll receive karma instead of caps.

Meanwhile, Mister Burke will ask you to detonate the bomb, and he'll even give you a Fusion Pulse Charge to help you out. Burke will offer you 500 caps for the job, and if you pass a speech check or if you're female and have the Black Widow perk, then you can increase that reward to 1000 caps. You can also use the Black Widow perk to make Burke leave Megaton for good (and cause him to send you love letters from Tenpenny Tower).

Note: After talking to Mister Burke (but before disarming the bomb), you can run back to Lucas Simms and tell him what Burke just asked you to do. Simms will decide to show you some "wasteland justice," and he'll head over to the saloon to arrest Burke. Burke will appear docile at the confrontation, but then he'll shoot Simms in the back, killing him, and he'll make a break for it. You can kill Burke at this point (or, really, at any time) and nobody in Megaton will care, and between the two corpses you'll find a Silenced 10mm Pistol, Dirty Pre-War Businesswear, a Chinese Assault Rifle, a Sheriff's Duster, a Sheriff's Hat, and more. If Burke gets away, then he'll put a hit out on you, and every so often you'll have to fend off an attack from Talon mercenaries.

To disarm or detonate the bomb, you'll need 25 points in your explosives skill. If you don't have your skill high enough, then you can take Mentats to improve it by up to 10 points (Mister Burke will even suggest this). You can get Mentats from Leo Stahl at the Water Processing Plant (#4) at night, but you'll need to learn about his drug habit for the right dialogue options to come up. See the Megaton location entry for how to do this.

Note: Obviously, if you blow up Megaton, then you'll lose most of the NPCs and businesses there, and so you should complete as many Megaton activities as possible before proceeding. However, Moira Brown will survive (as a ghoul) and you'll still be able to use her to repair items and to complete the Wasteland Survival Guide. Moira might eventually leave for Underworld, so if you don't find her at the Megaton crater, look for her there.

Blowing Up Megaton

To blow up Megaton, you'll need to attach the Fusion Pulse Charge to the bomb, and then you'll need to travel to Tenpenny Tower and visit Mister Burke on the balcony of Allistair Tenpenny's penthouse suite. You'll have a view of Megaton from there, and you'll get to see the mushroom cloud when it blows up. You'll even get to flip the switch yourself.

For completing the quest this way, you'll receive the amount of money you agreed upon with Mr. Burke, plus 300 experience points, -1000 karma points, and the deed to a penthouse suite in Tenpenny Tower. The suite will come with a bed, some shelves, a robot butler, and a bobblehead display case, and you'll be able to buy more amenities for it from Lydia Montenegro (or Michael Masters) in the tower.

Saving Megaton

To disarm the bomb in Megaton, you'll just need to activate it and select the "disarm" option. Then when you talk to Lucas Simms -- or his son Harden (#5), if Lucas is dead -- you'll receive the amount of money you agreed upon, plus 300 experience points, 200 karma points, and the deed to the empty house in Megaton (#6). The house will come with a bed, some shelves, a robot butler, and a bobblehead display case, and you'll be able to buy more amenities for it from Moira Brown at Craterside Supply (#7).

1 - Lucas Simms

2 - Moriarty's Saloon

3 - Atomic Bomb

4 - Water Processing Plant

5 - Lucas Simms' House

6 - Empty House

7 - Craterside Supply

  1. Exit to the wasteland.