I take it you're here to check out my Nuka-Cola collection and take the tour?”— Sierra when the PC first meets her
The Nuka-Cola Challenge is a side quest in Fallout 3 connected to the Nuka-Cola soft drink company, and its prototype beverage, Nuka-Cola Quantum. It is also an Xbox 360 and PC achievement and a PlayStation 3 trophy.
Take Sierra's Nuka-Cola tour
Upon finding Sierra Petrovita, she offers to take you on the "Nuka-Cola tour," which consists of viewing the large number of Nuka-Cola collectibles she owns. If you agree to take the tour, she will show the player around her home, discuss various Nuka-Cola facts and talk about some of the items in the room. After the tour, she gives the player an ice cold Nuka-Cola.
Talk to Sierra
She then asks the player to collect Nuka-Cola Quantums and says she will pay 40 caps for each bottle.
After exiting her house, Ronald Laren will meet the player and ask them to instead give him the Nuka-Cola Quantums, as he hopes that giving them to Sierra will improve his chances of "plowing her bean field". He offers to pay the same price for the Quantums, though a successful Speech check will cause him to double the payment. However, if you choose him over Sierra you will lose the chance for Schematics - Nuka grenade that you would have gotten from Sierra (Although it is possible to obtain these schematics from Doc Hoff). If you have the Black Widow perk, you also have the option to offer a threesome in exchange for him finding the bottles, causing him to eagerly run off to his death. His body can then be found inside the main entrance of the Nuka-Cola Plant, or somewhere on a more or less straight line from Girdershade to the plant if he happens to be killed on the way. If the player escorts Ronald and he successfully reaches the Nuka-Cola Plant, he will simply stand in the lobby. If the player then leaves the area and re-enters, Ronald will be dead.
Recover 30 bottles of Nuka-Cola Quantum
Nuka-Cola Quantums are rare items. There are only 94 loose in the base game (plus a 10% chance of finding one in a Nuka-Cola vending machine) and only a dozen or so more with add-ons. They are easy to see because they glow (only if HDR is enabled on the PC version). For a list of bottle locations, see Nuka-Cola Quantum.
Of course, the Quantum Chemist perk makes this whole task much easier—especially when you are in Sierra's house. She has a large amount of Nuka-Cola all over the place and, as long as you're hidden, stealing the Nuka-Colas and having them automatically converted into Quantum is easy, though you will lose Karma.
Recover the shipping manifest (optional)
A good place to start looking is the Nuka-Cola Plant. Aside from a few Quantums, you can find a terminal entry with shipping details for Quantum. You can get the code for this terminal from Milo, Shipping Foreman by either passing a Speech check, killing him, obtaining an employee badge by finding the note Welcome to the Nuka-Cola Family! or by using a dialogue choice obtained through the Robotics Expert perk. The code is used in the computer terminal in the room where Milo is found. After using the code, select the option to retrieve the shipping manifest.
The manifest tells the player of three locations where shipments of the Nuka-Cola Quantum were in the process of delivery; these being the shopping center at Paradise Falls, Super Duper Mart, and Old Olney grocery.
At the Super Duper Mart, the shipment of Nuka-Cola Quantum can be found in the back storeroom near the fallen shelves next to the protectron. There are three of them. It is in the same room as the Pharmacy Supplies.
In Paradise Falls, five Quantums can be found in Eulogy's Pad underneath the stairs next to a bed. Be careful when stealing these: if you are seen, the whole town will turn hostile toward you. You will not lose Karma for stealing them.
When investigating Old Olney, you will discover that the shipment of Quantum never made it there. The skeletal remains of the driver can be found on the steps outside a building in Old Olney along with the Nuka-Cola accident report. The note reveals that there was an accident and the driver abandoned the truck to look for help (which never came because the bombs fell). The truck with its Nuka-Cola Quantum can be found by exploring the highways surrounding the town. There are about 5 Quantums in the truck and about 28 regular Nuka-Colas. It is found about halfway between Old Olney and Chaste Acres Dairy Farm.
Just For The Taste Of It (optional)
Main page: Just For The Taste Of It
Just For The Taste Of It is an optional unmarked quest available only during The Nuka-Cola Challenge.
- Sierra pays you for the Nuka-Cola Quantums (40 caps each). Once you give her enough to fill her Nuka-Cola vending machine, she gives you the Schematics - Nuka grenade, and you get +300 XP. In the future, she will also make you a Mississippi Quantum pie if you bring her the ingredients.
- Giving the bottles to Ronald Laren results in a loss of Karma and double the caps (80 caps each) if you succeed in the Speech check, otherwise you get 40. Once the quest is complete (if you gave him 30), he goes to Sierra's house straight away and starts making moves — only to have Sierra completely misunderstand his advances.
- For maximum money and good Karma, it is possible to give 29 bottles to Ronald, and 30 to Sierra, or vice versa for bad Karma. However, a total of 59 bottles is a difficult achievement and will make it very hard to make any Nuka-grenades or Mississippi Quantum pies, as Nuka-Cola Quantums are semi-rare. (Although if you have the Broken Steel add-on and have the Quantum Chemist perk and possess many Nuka-Colas, it is possible that you can make many Nuka-grenades, especially since Nuka-Cola is restocked in traders inventories every so often)
- Be aware that finishing this quest before obtaining the Nuka-Cola Clear Formula will cause Ledoux not to spawn and making Ledoux's hockey mask unobtainable.
- Each schematic held by the player increases the number of grenades that can be made from the ingredients by one - one grenade if they hold one schematic, two for two and three for three. Thus for players primarily interested in completing this quest to obtain the game's third of three Schematics, they will not realize a net increase in Nuka-grenades produced until after finding at least 91 bottles of Nuka-Cola Quantum (including the ones used in the quest). Much of the map must be explored for this point to be reached, however.
- The Warmonger perk, introduced with the Broken Steel add-on makes the primary award of this quest worthless, as it automatically gives the player all three schematics for all weapons. If you have Broken Steel and intend to make absolutely as many Nuka-grenades as possible, you should avoid this quest and take the Warmonger perk (unless you are also planning on getting the Quantum Chemist perk, see below).
- The third schematic can be useful with the Broken Steel add-on, as there is a level 22 perk (Quantum Chemist) which changes 10 Nuka-Cola bottles into 1 Nuka-Cola Quantum. The perk is also helpful in completing the quest itself.
- If you're planning on using the Quantum Chemist perk to gather your 30 Quantums, make sure you don't store your Nuka-Colas in your Nuka-Cola Machine in Megaton or Tenpenny Tower. If your Nuka-Colas are made Ice Cold, you cannot use the perk to convert them into Quantums, and there is no way to "thaw" the colas once made Ice Cold.
- When exactly 30 Nuka-Cola Quantums are in players inventory, a speech option of I'VE FOUND THE LAST OF THE QUANTUMS will appear.
This removes 30 Nuka-Cola Quantums from your inventory and completes the quest...
- but be careful towards the end of giving Sierra your Quantums, as she may take more than 30 from you if you give her the opportunity. She will tell you only that you've given her "over 25" Quantums---so if you've actually given her 29, but have more than 1 in your inventory, she will take all of them. If you have an non-player character with you (and you've lost count), give the non-player character all but one of your Quantums; then give Sierra one at a time, trading with your non-player character as necessary. You could also place all but one on the floor and pick them up as needed.
- After completing this quest Three Dog will mention it on the radio. "Talk about a slow news day..."
- If you have the Black Widow perk you can 'convince' Ronald to go get the Nuka-Cola Quantums in exchange for a threesome. Which will cause him to run to the Nuka-Cola plant. Sometimes choosing this dialogue option will result him in being killed by something in his path, and not returning.
- Asking Sierra to stop her "addict routine" when she tells you about Quantum reveals that one of Ronald's favorite sayings is "You can't resist the taste that'll blow up in your face!" Naive as she is, this sounds like a Nuka-Cola jingle to her.
Behind the scenes
- The name of this quest is a reference to "the Pepsi Challenge," a taste-test marketing promotion run by Pepsi Co. since 1975.
- If Sierra is killed, and Ronald is spoken to, a Speech check can be passed in which the player blames the Nuka-Cola Corporation for her death. Ronald will assume it's because the Nuka-Cola machine he got for her had a label saying; "Warning if you tamper with this unit you'll have to answer to the Nuka-Cola Corporation". This dialogue is likely a reference to a scene from the film Dr. Strangelove involving tampering with a Coca-Cola machine.
- The login code given by Milo the foreman is a reference to the USS Reliant from Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.
- Upon returning, Sierra will be gone, not found anywhere. Reloading or fast traveling seems to fix this. [platforms tag needed]
- pc ps3 xbox360 When Milo, the Shipping Foreman initially approaches the character asking for confirmation instead he just opens dialogue saying "What is it now? Sir/Ma'am" (Depending on player gender). Any further attempts to open dialogue result in the same phrase repeated over and over. This may cause "The Nuka-Cola Challenge" to be marked as completed and Goalie Ledoux will not appear at the Red Racer Factory.
- ps3 xbox360 pc When a player enters Sierra's house she may start to flee. She may run outside and if you follow her she may return to normal and try to reenter her house or may remain in a panic, making the quest impossible to both start and complete. It may be possible to work around this bug by saving before entering Sierra's house. If you find she is fleeing, then reload the save and scout the surrounding area for any creatures that may have spawned in or near Girdershade. Kill them and then enter her house. She should no longer be fleeing. It is also possible to talk to her as normal while she is fleeing if the interaction is timed correctly.
- ps3 xbox360 If you have a companion when entering Sierra's house, they may immediately turn hostile against Sierra for no apparent reason (with no hostiles outside) and hence, can cause Sierra to be killed, failing the quest. Does not always happen, though. This can be avoided by telling your follower to wait outside.