Stop right there, I don't know how you got in.”— Officer Gomez after seeing the Lone Wanderer enter the vault
Trouble on the Homefront is a side quest in Fallout 3. It is also an Xbox 360 and PC achievement and a PlayStation 3 trophy.
This quest will be activated anytime after completing The Waters of Life, by picking up the Vault 101 distress signal on your radio. (Note: If you go to find the G.E.C.K you may have a bit of trouble picking up the signal. To find it simply wander near Vault 101, Megaton is close enough). It is a message from Amata asking you to return to Vault 101 to help stop her father, the Overseer. If you killed the original Overseer while escaping from Vault 101, Allen Mack will be the new Overseer and you can still do this quest (although the radio message changes to "...the new Overseer is insane. If you can hear this, please stop looking for your dad and help save us.").
Since you and your father escaped from Vault 101, the Vault has been divided into two major factions. The faction led by Amata, holed up in your father's Clinic, wants to open the Vault and interact with the outside world. The other faction is led by the Overseer and he wants to keep the vault closed permanently, in accordance with its mission. Butch however, wishes to abandon the vault entirely and live on the surface; the rest of the rebels simply intend to remain living in the vault but want to be able to make excursions into the wasteland when necessary.
One of the most essential reasons for having access to the wasteland and the remainder of humanity, apart from the obvious need for supplies and parts for the vault's aging life support apparatus, is to avoid collapse due to genetic stagnation and inbreeding. The number of Vault 101 residents has fallen significantly in the two centuries since it was sealed, implied heavily by various conversations and other means (such as a message encouraging procreation on the text messages) prior to the Lone Wanderer's initial escape. If he/she successfully persuades the overseer to allow exterior access then the overseer himself will finally accept and openly admit that without external input, the vault's population will not remain genetically viable for more than a generation or so.
Although there are only three different outcomes, there are plenty of ways to finish each. Be creative!
Keep the Vault closed
There are essentially two ways to keep the vault closed. One way is to ignore the problem. The downside to this is you will not receive any quest-related rewards.
- Simply ignore the radio message. The signal will cease after a while and you will lose the opportunity to gain XP and the modified utility jumpsuit.
- You can also just enter Vault 101 once, talk to some people and/or take items (such as opening the safe in your father's office) and then exit the vault. After leaving, you will be unable to reenter the vault as it has been locked again.
The other way is to deal with the rebels. This completes the quest and will reward you accordingly.
- Kill the rebels. Killing Amata only should break them up, but you may also have to kill the other rebels as well. (You'll gain bad Karma for this even if you're trying to keep the Vault closed), NOTE: if you are spotted, the whole Vault may turn hostile, including the Overseer. If you hide for long enough, they may turn friendly again.
- Persuade Amata to stay in the Vault because the outside is too dangerous (You'll gain good Karma for this). There are two ways to achieve this:
- Pass a Speech check.
- Hack the Overseer's computer and discover the attempts by the Enclave to gain entry into Vault 101, and the Overseer's refusal to admit them. This provides proof of the dangers outside and of the Overseer's attempts to protect them and will allow you to convince Amata without the Speech check.
After dealing with the rebels, you may talk to the Overseer who will ask you to leave. If you ask him about a G.E.C.K. he will tell you that Vault 101 never had one and will offer you the modified utility jumpsuit instead, whether or not you used violence. Alternatively, you can ask him for food and ammunition and get 13 Cram and 350 5mm rounds in place of the suit.
Open the Vault
- Kill the Overseer.
- One of two nonviolent solutions—neither of them work on Allen Mack, if you killed Amata's father in "Escape!" Any attempts to try to reason with Mack will result in him becoming aggressive.
- Pass a Speech check. The Overseer will realize that the Vault won't survive more than a generation or two no matter how many supplies they may receive.
- Show that security is planning an assault against the Overseer's orders. Access the computer in the security office either by hacking into it (Average difficulty) or by obtaining the password (either from the body of Officer Wilkins or from a locker on the other side of the room). This will also allow you to free Mr. Brotch (who also knows of the plan) from the jail cell. Telling the Overseer about the assault convinces him he has failed his mission as Overseer, and he'll surrender without the speech check.
Amata will take on the role of Overseer - if the Overseer is still alive, he relinquishes the role. Amata will show regret and sorrow if you had to kill the Overseer, or excitement and amazement if you managed to persuade her father to step down without violence. If you talk to her she will then 'ask' you to leave the vault permanently even if you instead persuaded her father to stand down without violence and will provide you with the modified utility jumpsuit (only if you didn't use violence). You may randomly encounter Susie Mack in the Wasteland. You can talk to her and she will give you purified water but say that you still cannot return. Butch will end up in Rivet City at The Muddy Rudder.
Destroy the Vault
Hack the (hard) computer in the sub-basement or steal the Vault 101 maintenance password from Stanley, the maintenance man, who can be found wandering around the cafeteria/dorm level. Go into manual override mode and perform a flush and a purge. This will flush the water chip, resulting in a catastrophic system failure (if Stanley is performing maintenance on the system, as he tends to do, the resulting explosive malfunction will kill him). Everyone is now forced to evacuate the vault (you lose Karma for this). This is always an option (unless you have loaded the latest patch, see below) - you can even complete the quest with another method and then flush the chip, although this will render anything you did before meaningless from the quest's point of view.
- The passcode only unlocks the terminal and does not enable you to unlock any extra areas of the Vault.
- You can lie to Amata that it was the Overseer's plan, and lie to the Overseer that the rebels did it. In the latter case he will stay where he is, ashamed at what he has caused, which results in his death.
- If Amata finds out you did it, either by telling her or failing the speech check, she will say you're worse than her father and threaten to kill you if she ever sees you again. As she is running out of the Vault, you can attempt to speak to her, but she won't say anything and instead turn hostile and attack you.
- In the latest patch, the option to Destroy the Vault is lost after completing the mission through interaction with either Amata or the Overseer. Back at the filtration room computer the option "Begin Water Chip Service" now returns the message "Service Disabled - See Vendor" when selected. This applies even if Butch has given you the optional task to Sabotage Vault 101.
- When Allen Mack appears, he will decide to kill you.
Obviously, life in the vault is no longer feasible. A random encounter may occur where Amata is being interrogated by the Enclave. If she gives up the location for Vault 101, she will be executed. If you save her life she runs away from you, cursing you for all the trouble you caused. She doesn't have a destination and will eventually be killed by one of the horrors of the wasteland. Butch can be found at The Muddy Rudder bar in Rivet City and can be recruited if you have neutral Karma. In the random encounter Trapped Outside you'll also find dead residents (provided these residents survived your Vault visit). In order: Freddie Gomez, Pepper Gomez, Herman Gomez. All of the other vault dwellers are not seen again.
Doing this nets no rewards of any kind except bad Karma; if you particularly want a reward then you can complete the quest that way, get the reward, and then destroy the chip. You can, of course, still loot the Vault.
Killing the overseer after getting the vault either open or closed results in failure of the quest itself. This also causes the Vault to be left open and you can come and go as you please, but all residents will turn hostile. A message will appear explaining that Vault 101 has been 'thrown into chaos'. If you decide to make it a home-away-from-home, be aware that even after you've killed all the people, the place will become infested with radroaches.
- It's possible for this to happen accidentally - if you convince the rebels to stay and then go to the Overseer when Officer Wilkins is nearby he will cause the Overseer to become hostile as well. This won't instantly cause failure unless the Overseer actually dies.
- If you kill Amata, Vault 101 will still be thrown into chaos.
- It is possible to kill the leaders of both sides without failing the quest. Resolve the situation, killing people if you want, but spare the acting Overseer (whether it is Amata, her dad, or Mack). Attack the Overseer and make them pursue you to the entrance of the vault but don't kill them. After the vault door closes and the quest is deemed completed, you can revel in the joy of slaying the previously "critical" non-player character and getting away with it. You won't receive the message about the vault being thrown into chaos if you achieve this.
- It is also possible to kill the leaders of both sides and more residents of the vault without failing the quest. If the player convinces the overseer that the vault shouldn't remain closed the overseer will then run and tell Amata that she is the new Overseer, right after that conversation, kill Amata and everyone will want to kill you, make a run for it and get out of the vault towards the wooden door to the wasteland but don't open it, the quest will be completed, the player will gain the XP, the vault door will close and even with the vault door closed, the residents somehow will get outside the vault and attack you, you can kill them then for XP with Karma loss but the mission will be complete (discovered on Fallout 3 PC version).
- It is also possible to finish the quest and have the vault door stay open indefinitely. Enter the vault and don't talk to anyone - ignoring Officer Gomez, Amata and the Overseer isn't critical but there's no real point in talking to anyone else (except perhaps Butch, to get the optional "Sabotage Vault 101" subquest on your Pip-Boy, but it isn't necessary). Head to the reactor area and purge the water chip. This will cause the vault to evacuate. Wait about 2–3 minutes realtime and then go through the Overseer's tunnel. (If you can't avoid the Overseer here, lie to them.) Leave the vault when it says the quest is completed (when the vault door would normally close). The door will remain open forever, and the vault will be empty of people.
- You cannot shut the vault door using this method. Method confirmed on Xbox 360.
- If you avoid the Overseer when leaving they may remain in the vault, alive and with no dialogue options.
- If you kill the Overseer and then kill Amata when she tells you to leave then the vault door will stay open indefinitely
- Note: Waiting does not work.
Side with the rebels
Side with the overseer
- WARNING: You will not be able to regroup with any companion should you choose to have them wait inside the vault after you have left for good, barring the use of mods or console commands. Your companion will stay inside, and you will never be able to get them out since entry to the vault will be forbidden and there are two ways to do it:
(1). Use of mods or console commands
(2). Wait, until you receive a message that they came back to their own place such as "Fawkes had returned to the Museum of History."
- Having a companion with you on entry into the vault may lead to no peaceful settlement with the Overseer as your companion may attack him on sight. With all the problems they might cause, it might just be easiest to make them stay outside.
- After getting inside the vault, the first thing you will see is the corpse of Jim Wilkins.
- This is the last time you will be able to grab the Bobblehead - Medicine from your father's office in the Clinic if you missed it before. Also, be sure to open the (average) locked safe behind the framed Bible quote in the same room, as it contains a Schematic for the Rock-It Launcher and the Home Sweet Home voice recording from your father, as well as 300 caps.
- Regardless of whether you arranged to have Vault 101 opened, sabotaged, or sealed (which would logically preclude his appearance elsewhere), Butch gets out and you get to recruit him if you have neutral Karma. To find him, go to The Muddy Rudder bar in Rivet City and talk to him. He comes with a 10mm pistol and a special switchblade called Butch's Toothpick. See the Bug section for a possible exception.
- Three Dog will make a note of you completing this quest on the radio.
- If you have activated the purifier, then you might not be able to start this quest.
- If you missed the chance to start the quest and the Distress signal is gone, type in the console setstage 00014EA3 10. This will initiate the quest and follow as normal. Going to The Pitt and returning also helps, if you have it installed. Going to other DLC locations (Mothership Zeta, Point Lookout, Operation: Anchorage) may possibly work too, though this hasn't been confirmed.
- Killing the Overseer will leave a finger on his corpse and will result in no Karma loss (the latter holds true for Andy as well).
- If you do not kill Officer Wilkins after he becomes hostile, he will try to find you throughout the Vault. If any Vault citizens see him as a hostile against you, they will also join in the fight to kill you.
- The Overseer is nearby and will likely become hostile to you before you have a chance to talk to him, forcing you to kill him. If, however, your sneak skill is high enough, or through use of a Stealth Boy, you can kill Wilkins and then slip away from combat. Remaining hidden long enough will allow the Overseer to become non hostile again, and you can talk to him.
- Wilkins will also appear in the sublevel (where you shot the radroaches with your BB gun as a kid). Killing him here obviously won't make anyone hostile, unless Stanley is there and sees you fighting.
- Here is another chance to obtain a Tunnel Snake jacket from Freddie Gomez (Butch has one too, but it won't show up in his inventory). Be sure to take another item of clothing (raider armor works well) to reverse pick pocket him, leave the area and come back to see him wearing the new armor. Now you can take the Tunnel Snake outfit.
- xbox360 If you choose to end the vault troubles by sabotaging the vault, the vault door will remain open, allowing you to come and go as you please. If you inspect the vault for any present dwellers, you will notice that Beatrice Armstrong is no longer present at the surgery table (but Andy is still present), and Mr. Brotch is no longer held up in the jail cell (if you decided not to free him in the quest). The jail cell door remains locked.
- pc ps3 xbox360 When attempting to reason with the Overseer and convince him to step down, he refers to the player as a "young man," regardless of the Lone Wanderer's actual gender.
- xbox360 It is possible that the final objective (Leave Vault 101 forever) will stay marked as unfinished, even after you've completed the quest.
- pc After convincing the Overseer to step down, it is possible to get to Amata before he does. Speaking to Amata will have her talk as though the Overseer has already spoken to her, and after the player finishes talking to her the Overseer will arrive and their conversation will proceed normally.
Behind the scenes
Fallout reference: Portions of Amata's speech to the Lone Wanderer when he or she leaves are strikingly similar to the speech given to the Vault Dweller at the end of Fallout, even the number of ellipses used in each (bold quotes specifically).
Vault 13 Overseer's Speech w/ the Vault Dweller:
You've done it! That's . . . wonderful. Amazing! I'm so proud of what you've accomplished, what you've endured.
There's no way the people of the Vault can ever thank you enough for what you've done. You've saved all our lives. Who knows, maybe even saved the human race. [The Overseer sighs.] That makes the rest of this even harder.
Everyone will want to talk to you. Every youngster will look up to you, and want to emulate you. And then what?
They'll want to leave. What happens to the Vault if we lose the best of a generation? What if we are the only safe place in the world? You just gave us back all these lives . . . I can't take the chance of losing them.
I've made a lot of tough decisions since I took this position. But none of them harder than this one. You saved us, but you'll kill us. I'm sorry. You're a hero . . . and you have to leave.
Amata's Speech w/ the Lone Wanderer:
Amata: I... I just heard. the Overseer... My father is dead. What's more, some of the people are saying I should be the new Overseer. It's all so sudden.
Lone Wanderer: That's the way these things go. Now do the right thing for your Vault.
Amata: Oh, I will, believe me. We can open up limited trade with nearby settlements and other areas, and see the world we've been missing.
But it's still important that I protect our Vault, and keep the people within it safe from the dangers of the Wasteland. Even when those dangers have helped us in the past. And that makes the rest of this even harder.
Lone Wanderer: I've got a bad feeling I know where this is going.
Amata: You saved us. But that doesn't change the fact that you killed one of us to do it, and I can't let that sort of thing stand here. I guess it's a bit familiar. You've already been forced out of the Vault once before. At least now you know what's out there.
I'm sorry. You're a hero... and you have to leave.
NOTE: The above dialogue only appears if the Lone Wanderer chooses to resolve the problem by killing the Overseer. Resolving the problem diplomatically results in a different dialogue that does not reference the original Fallout.