Wasteland Survival Guide (quest)

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For other uses of the term, see Wasteland Survival Guide.
Wasteland Survival Guide
The Wasteland Survival Guide
16 The Wasteland Survival Guide
Capital Wasteland
given byMoira Brown


base id00014e96
Wasteland Survival Guide
16 The Wasteland Survival Guide
requirementsComplete Wasteland Survival Guide
trophy typeBronze

Leave me out of that girl's crazy experiments, I don't get paid enough for that.

Moira's mercenary

Wasteland Survival Guide is a multi-part quest in Fallout 3. It is also an achievement/trophy.


Moira Brown, the owner of the Craterside Supply in Megaton, wants you to do some dangerous research for a book she is writing entitled "The Wasteland Survival Guide".


Though each chapter is generally a unique quest, they all share common attributes for their rewards. All non-unique item rewards are given in a quantity proportionate to the player's level, meaning the player will receive more of the item at higher levels. The player is also given dialogue options based on which of their SPECIAL stats are at least 7: the more stats at 7 or higher, the more dialogue options. The player's dialogue options affect both the style of the book and the specific rewards at the end of the quest.

  • Standard replies are always available and produce a straight-forward and no-nonsense book, and you better endure a lot of pain to get through alive. The effects from this style increase overall HP (likely from taking so much punishment).
  • Snide replies are always available and produce a clearly cynical book, albeit one that is snappy and amusing. The effects from this style increase Critical Hit Chance (likely from trying to find more creative and sadistic ways to hack and blast things into a fine red mist).
  • To make a Smart reply, your Intelligence or Perception (the specific stat differs for each segment) must be at least 7. A Smart book presents an intelligent and thorough treatment of the subject. The effects from this style increase Science and Medicine skill levels.
  • To make a Tough reply, your Strength or Endurance (the specific stat differs for each segment) must be at least 7. A Tough book focuses on personal reliance and determination. The effects from this style increase Damage Resistance.
  • To make a Sly reply, your Charisma or Agility (the specific stat differs for each segment) must be at least 7. A Sly book is formed from an engaging and personal presentation, a veritable Wanderer's Manifesto. The effects from this style increase Sneak and Speech skill levels.

The player can also lie to Moira to skip portions of the quest, which negatively affects the outcome.

Each portion of the chapter can be done in any order. The order will not affect the overall outcome.

Should you choose to destroy Megaton in The Power of the Atom quest while this quest is active, the latter will not be affected at all as Moira will survive as a ghoul and continue to give quest updates as normal. She can be found at the ruins of Megaton initially, but will then have moved to Underworld after the first conversation with her. Or, if enough time passes, she will eventually move on her own. If Moira dies, when the PC approaches Megaton a message will appear saying "Moira Brown has been killed and the Wasteland Survival Guide will never be written." At the same time a quest message will appear announcing that you've failed the quest.

Chapter 1

Chapter one focuses on the basics: finding food and medicine, dealing with radiation, and avoiding land mines.

Find food at the Super Duper Mart

Main Objective: Find food in the Super-Duper Mart
Optional Objective: Find medicine in the Super-Duper Mart.

Moira wants you to look for food and possibly medicine at the nearby Super Duper Mart. Moira will mark it on your map. The mart is filled with raiders. For more information, consult the Super-Duper Mart page.

At the front of the mart, opening the refrigerator will fulfill the first part of the quest, as will finding any food inside. After this, the player can venture inside to finish the optional objective. There is a first aid box in the back room (next to the mini nuke and protectron) in the left-hand corner of the store. Looting it will fulfill the objective, but will also summon several more raiders. The intercom will transmit their voices to warn you.

All the raiders come in from the doors leading to the restrooms.

Moira will reward you with iguana bits if you only complete the required objective or successfully lie to her, and a Food Sanitizer in addition to the iguana bits if you complete the optional objective.

If you have already visited the Super Duper Mart and picked up food and medicine there prior to initiating the Wasteland Survival Guide quest with Moira, when you do speak to her you will instead recount your experiences which effectively completes this portion of Chapter 1 without having to do it again.

Iguana bits vs Level
Level 1 4 7 10 13 17 20
Iguana bits 3 5 7 9 11 13 15

After completing the quest and the optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Endurance, Intelligence, or Charisma is above 7; Strength, Agility or Intelligence apply if you didn't. The standard or snide responses are available by default.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
smart "I encountered some raiders, but they were easily outsmarted." Int 7 no
tough "I got the food and dealt with those pansy raiders. They couldn't stop me." Str 7 no
snide "That place was a death trap. It was crawling with raiders." nothing no
standard "It's got a lot more food than most places, but I wasn't the only one there." nothing no
sly "Those big, shadowy stores can be great for hiding out." Agi 7 no

smart "The raiders were using the pharmacy as a place to store their best gear." Int 7 yes
snide "I had a fun party with some raiders. Then a guard robot jumped out of a cake." nothing yes
standard "I found raiders and a robot. It was hardly a safe place to scavenge." nothing yes
tough "Those raiders must've shot me twenty times. But who's counting?" End 7 yes
sly "It's very hard to talk my way past that many people shooting at me..." Cha 7 yes

Contract radiation sickness

Main Objective: Contract 200 Rads
Optional Objective: Contract 600 Rads

Moira wants you to contract radiation sickness in order to study the effects of radiation poisoning on a person and to also test her radiation sickness remedy on you. 200 rads is considered the minimum, while 600 is necessary for the optional objective. Moira will completely heal your radiation at the end of the quest.

There are any number of highly irradiated areas which will easily fulfill the objective. The closest option is the nuclear bomb right in the middle of town. The quickest way to fulfill your radiation requirements is to drink from the center of the radioactive water surrounding the atomic bomb. Other high radiation areas include the White House, surface entrance of Vault 87 (especially if you want 600 rads), Nuka-Cola plant, crashed Delta IX rocket near the Statesman Hotel, and the Wheaton Armory interior, or by drinking the water in Megaton around the bomb. Another is just behind Springvale Elementary, where there is a fenced-in dump containing radioactive barrels.

After you complete the mission, your rad count will be reduced to 0. Moira will give you some Rad-X and RadAway and she will also start selling them. If you completed the optional objective, Moira remarks that you now have a "teeny, tiny, um, mutation" after curing you, which manifests in the form of the Rad Regeneration perk. Alternatively, should you have a high enough Science skill (at least 50), you will be given the option of simply explaining the effects of radiation poisoning. However, you don't get the perk this way. The optional objective still counts as complete towards the quality of the final reward perk.

RadAway vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
RadAway 1 2 3 4 5
Rad-X vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Rad-X 3 4 5 6 7

After completing the quest and optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Endurance, Perception, or Charisma is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Intelligence, or Agility. Note that you will be suffering the effects of Critical Radiation Poisoning (-1 STR, -3 END, -2 AGL), which may affect your ability to choose the Endurance option. Using a Buffout before speaking to Moira will allow you to select the 'tough' option provided your base END is 7 or greater as it counteracts the -3 END from the radiation poisoning.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
sly "I like to think of it as adding to my glowing personality." Cha 7 no
smart "The headaches certainly make it hard to focus properly. " Int 7 no
standard "Itchiness, sores, and so forth. I've had worse, but still not fun." nothing no
tough "I can barely feel it. Radiation sickness is for the weak." End 7 no
smart "Fear not! With my vast scientific knowledge, I explain this one myself." Science yes
snide "Why don't you drink a tall glass of wastewater and find out for yourself?" nothing no

Standard "Just do your examination and fix me up please." nothing yes
smart "If I listen closely, I can hear my genes crying." Per 7 yes
snide "I feel about as bad as you look." Ghoul Moira yes
snide "Too... tired... to be... snide." nothing yes
tough "Well, it itches a little, but I can walk it off." End 7 yes
sly "Oh, I feel fine! <cough> Never better! <cough> No problem at all! <wheeze>" Cha 7 yes

Traversing a Mine Field

Main Objective: Travel to the playground in the center of Minefield.
Optional Objective: Retrieve and return a frag mine to Moira.

Moira wants you to reach the playground in the center of Minefield, aptly named, as the streets have many frag mines planted on them. She would also like you to retrieve a mine, if you are able. You must bring her a mine; simply disarming one and then going to talk to her will not give you the credit for the optional objective.

Minefield is far northeast of Megaton. Minefield is home to the sniper, Arkansas, who adds to the challenge of this quest by shooting at the player and surrounding cars.

As frag mines are quite prevalent in the game, it is possible to lie to Moira about visiting Minefield and still complete the optional objective to complete the quest. If you already visited Minefield before doing this task, you can inform Moira of this, but you will not be able to complete the optional objective.

Moira will reward you with frag grenades upon completion of the quest, and will throw in bottlecap mine schematics if you completed the optional objective.

Frag grenades vs Level
Level 1 4 7 10 13 17 20
Frag grenades 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

After completing the quest and optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Endurance, Perception, or Agility is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Intelligence, or Charisma.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "No, but it was a close call. Moving slow and staying off the dirt helped." nothing no
smart "Technically, it's the landmines that blow up, not me. And no, I didn't." Int 7 no
tough "I get blown up a lot. I get better. You got to be hard." End 7 no
sly "I've got the grace of a cat. No landmine's going to stop me." Agi 7 no
snide "Yes, I blew up and died. Now I'm haunting you because of that stupid book. Boo." nothing no
nothing "I got through Minefield alive, and I even brought you a present." nothing no

smart "Watch the details and look for broken patterns. That's where the traps are." Per 7 yes
snide "Oh, disarming it's real easy. Just jump up and down on it. You go first." nothing yes
standard "That whole place is a deathtrap." nothing yes
standard "That whole town is a trap. There was a sniper out there, just waiting for me." nothing yes
tough "There may have been an explosion or two. Oh, and a sniper. No big deal." End 7 yes
sly "Fast hands and faster wits can get you an awful lot. Including landmines." Agi 7 yes


Once all three quests are completed, the first chapter will be done. Moira will reward you with some stimpaks and 100 experience points for finishing the first chapter of The Wasteland Survival Guide.

Stimpaks vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Stimpaks 3 4 5 6 7

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 of the guide centers on dealing with some of the many dangerous creatures that are known to inhabit the wastelands, and also how to handle injuries.

Test the repellent on mole rats

Main Objective:Test the mole rat repellent on 3 mole rats.
Optional Objective: Test the repellent on 7 more mole rats (10 total with the first 3).

Moira wants you to test out her new mole rat repellent, which she has placed on the end of a stick, on some mole rats. Three is enough to finish the quest, while ten is preferred for a more thorough test of the repellent. Contrary to the name, the mole rat repellent does not repel mole rats. Instead, it causes their heads to explode. One hit causes a delay of a few seconds, while two hits will kill them instantly. Moira will not be happy about this.

Moira will direct you to the Tepid Sewers, located near the Anchorage Memorial, which will have enough mole rats for both objectives (though finding enough for the optional objective will involve getting around raiders, a turret, some explosive gases, and maybe a few frag mines), but any mole rats, which are plentiful throughout the wastes, will count toward completion of the quest.

The closest location with mole rats is actually just outside Megaton. Towards the back of Megaton several (usually around 4 or 5) will spawn.

If you are having trouble finding mole rats in any of this areas, Jury St. Station is full of mole rats as well as several raiders, although no more raiders than in the Tepid Sewers. At the end of the train tracks there will be two doors on either wall that lead into the Jury St. tunnels granting you access to even more mole rats.

The reward for this quest is some doses of Jet and Psycho. If you completed the optional objective, you get to keep the repellent stick. If not, Moira will take it back and you'll have to buy it if you wish to keep using it, or steal it from Moira's hard-locked desk upstairs.

Jet & Psycho vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Jet & Psycho 1 2 3 4 5

After completing the quest and optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Endurance, Intelligence, or Charisma is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Perception, or Agility.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "I don't think it works like you hoped. The mole rats all died." nothing no
smart "You added too much chemical stimulant. The result was rather explosive." Int 7 no
tough "Those dumb mole rats just blew up! You should have seen the guts!" Str 7 no
sly "Well, at least it's non-lethal for people. For mole rats... not so much." Cha 7 no
snide "It repelled their limbs from their body. Can you make one that works on people?" nothing no
nothing "I tested it out, and it works just fine. <Lie.>" Speech negative

smart "It appears that mole rats have a most fatal allergy to it. Explosively so." Int 7 yes
snide "It's like explosive whack-a-mole rat. Can I get it in bullet form? For people?" nothing yes
standard "Sorry, Moira, but your 'Repellent' is fatal to mole rats." nothing yes
tough "It gives them quite a kick, like too much jet or something." End 7 yes
sly "I don't believe this is as non-lethal as you had expected. To put it lightly." Cha 7 yes

Place an observer unit inside a mirelurk nest

Main Objective: Place an observer unit (provided by Moira) inside a Mirelurk Egg Clutch in the Anchorage Memorial.
Optional Objective: Complete the main objective without killing a mirelurk.

Moira wants you to gather data on mirelurk behavior by placing an observer inside the mirelurk nest at the Anchorage Memorial, specifically inside an egg clutch. So as not to upset her data gathering, she would prefer you do this without harming any of them. This optional objective only applies to mirelurks killed during the quest, and only those inside the memorial itself. The game will not fault you for killing any mirelurks anywhere else, nor will it matter if any were killed inside the memorial before starting the mission. Any mirelurks killed by your followers will not be counted against you.

If you come out from Tepid Sewer you will find the entrance almost immediately to your left, it is a locked door (Easy skill). The nest can be found inside the first open door to your right or left. There are 3 Mirelurks present.

Unlike most other optional objectives, this optional objective will be completed only upon talking to Moira, and telling her that the mirelurks are "none the wiser."

If the player completes the quest with the optional objective, they'll receive some Stealth Boys and a shady hat.

Stealth Boys vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Stealth Boys 2 3 4 5 6

After completing the quest, you can get special conversation paths if your Strength, Intelligence, or Charisma is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Endurance, Perception, or Agility.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "They're pretty much crab-based humanoids." nothing no
smart "Their lairs are partially aquatic, so the radiation must not bother them." Per 7 no
tough "Between shells and scales, they're pretty tough. But not tough enough." Str 7 no
sly "They're savages with big claws and absolutely no interest in small talk." Cha 7 no
snide "What's to say? They're crabs. They're delicious and nutritious." nothing no

smart "They descended from local crabs. I'd call them 'Scylla Serrata Horrendus.'" Int 7 yes
snide "They've got a little, bubbling castle and they spend all day circling it. <Lie>" nothing yes
standard "They're definitely vicious and highly territorial." nothing yes
tough "They don't seem to fight each other. So no struggle for leadership." Str 7 yes
sly "They seem mostly independent. I don't think there's any sort of 'society' there." Cha 7 yes
  • If you have a follower kill the mirelurks instead of you, you can still get the optional reward.

Return to Moira with injuries equaling more than 50% of your health

I'm going to hate myself for this, but what do you mean about handling injury?

Lone Wanderer
Main Objective: Return to Moira with less than 50% of your total health.
Optional Objective: Return to Moira with a crippled body part.

Moira wants to see you when you are badly injured, so she can see how people deal with various injuries. She would prefer you to have at least one crippled limb before returning. Any injuries, self-inflicted or otherwise, count toward completing the quest. Moira will heal your injuries upon completion.

With a Medicine skill of 70+, you are considered "a good enough doctor to just explain" about injuries, and you receive credit for the quest and bonus objective. Be aware that this qualifies as a "smart" response and as a result may have an effect on the perk you receive upon completion of the quest as a whole.

The reward for the quest is some doses of Med-X, and an environment suit if the optional objective is completed.

Med-X vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Med-X 1 2 3 4 5

After completing the quest and optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Endurance, Intelligence, or Charisma is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Perception, or Agility.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "It feels like a dozen super mutants did a dance on my spine in steel boots." nothing no
sly "Pardon me if I bleed profusely while thinking how best to describe this pain." Cha 7 no
smart "Acute physical trauma and severe lacerations. It's hardly pleasant." Int 7 no
tough "What, these little scratches? Hardly the worst scrape I've been in." End 7 no
snide "On a scale of one to ten, I'd say it's a "shut the fuck up and fix me." nothing no
smart "Why get myself hurt? I'm a good enough doctor to explain this part for you." Medicine


smart "Pain's an abstract. I stay focused on the definable things, like survival." Int 7 yes
snide "My only solace is thinking about inflicting this pain on people like you." nothing yes
standard "The adrenaline helps. So does the fear of death. There's a lot of both." nothing yes
tough "I hardly even feel pain anymore, honestly." End 7 yes
sly "Despite my glossary of expletives, nothing properly sums up this pain." Cha 7 yes


Once all three quests are completed, you are awarded 100 XP and some ammunition, the exact quantities depending on Luck. If the Wanderer is between levels 12 and 15, they will have a chance of receiving various quantities of any of the small arms bullet types. As Moira puts it, "just lots and lots of ammunition".

Ammunition vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Ammunition 10mm .32 5.56 Various 5mm
Rough Qty 40+ 20+ 70+ Varies 320+

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 revolves around how towns and cities came to be after the Great War and also dealing with pre-War technology.

Research Rivet City's history

Main Objective: Find out the history about Rivet City.
Optional Objective: Find out Rivet City's true history.

Moira would like to know the history of Rivet City, preferably as accurate as possible.

Almost every citizen of Rivet City is unfamiliar with its history. Most will point you in the right direction, however. Bannon is the first person people will point to; he will claim that he helped found the city. Note that when you first start this quest the optional objective does not appear. It only appears after you talk to a citizen of Rivet City. Upon speaking to any citizen about the history of Rivet City, you will complete the main objective and the optional objective will appear. You can return to Moira at this point for normal completion, or fact-check his story for optional completion.

Fact-checking this information requires meeting with Pinkerton. Belle Bonny in the Muddy Rudder bar will point you to his home in the broken bow of the ship. You may also receive information about Pinkerton by talking to Vera Weatherly, who will mention that Seagrave Holmes has lived there since he was a boy. Talking to him will tell you that Pinkerton may have left information in the bow. The security officers will also make thinly veiled references to his location while dismissing him as dead.

To get to Pinkerton, you have to exit Rivet City proper and travel to the other, "uninhabited" half of the ship, where there is a walkway leading to a door. It is a Very Hard lock (level 100 lockpick), and if you're unable to pick it you must jump into the water to the left of the door and swim alongside the ship until you turn the corner, where you will find a door underwater. There is a long swim, but no underwater combat. An alternative to swimming around the corner is to jump off the ship from the marketplace entrance and take a short swim to the underwater doorway. It's much shorter and results in less radiation exposure. Two mirelurks (type depends on level, they will be kings at worst) reside in the shallow area if you choose the second or third path. Pinkerton's living space is on the upper level, accessed through a staircase past the mirelurks. If you took the underwater route to get to Pinkerton, you can walk out the Very Hard locked door by activating a switch right next to it (from inside). The corridor to the lab is filled with flammable gas and several booby traps set by Pinkerton. At the end of the corridor will be a locked door, which will display the message "This door is activated elsewhere." The nearby terminal is in fact a trap, and the switch operating the door is on the opposite wall.

If you try to engage Pinkerton in conversation about Rivet City's history before talking to Belle, he will claim to have been one of the founders but you won't complete the optional part of the quest, as he does not care enough to give you proof. However, he will allow you to access his terminal which will contain information to complete the optional part of the quest. The dialogue option "Bannon claims to have founded the city" is required for him to give you the proof directly. Even if you haven't spoken to Bannon, using his terminal is enough to finish the quest, though you must get the password for it from Pinkerton.

At the end of the quest, Moira will reward you with some Mentats, as well as a permanent 10% discount with Rivet City's merchants (if you achieve the bonus conditions). You can also, as a joke, tell Moira that Rivet City was originally an underwater city. She will then talk about how it might have been part of Atlantis. You will receive Mentats and bad Karma but you won't receive the 10% discount. This option will also worsen the guide, eliminating the chance to get the Guru level perk.

Mentats vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Mentats 2 3 4 5 6

After completing the quest and optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Strength, Intelligence, or Charisma is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Endurance, Perception, or Agility.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "According to them, it was all set up by one upper deck resident." nothing no
smart "There's simply too many stories, and not enough evidence to support any of them." Per 7 no
tough "Those tough upper deck folk built the whole place from the ground up!" Str 7 no
sly "None of them agree on a story. So let's just say I set the whole place up." Cha 7 negative
snide "I guess I heard one story that was plausible enough. Let's go with it..." nothing no
nothing "Rivet City is actually the remains of an ancient, underwater civilization. <Lie.>" Speech negative

smart "It began as a research station, which is why it's still a scientific haven." Int 7 yes
snide "Some old coot says he took these notes. They seem reasonable enough." nothing yes
standard "It began as a successful science station, and traders settled in around it." nothing yes
tough "They cleared out the mirelurks. Then science folks and the rest moved in." Str 7 yes
sly "It had success as a science station, and people flock to success." Cha 7 yes

RobCo Production Facility Mainframe

Main Objective: Install the processor widget in the RobCo production facility mainframe.
Optional Objective: Hack the RobCo production facility mainframe

Moira would like to study robotics technology at the RobCo factory. Ideally, she would also like to examine how the robots are controlled. Special humorous dialog options appear when speaking with Moira for this quest if you previously obtained the Mechanist's costume.

To complete this quest, you must travel to the RobCo Facility and install the processor widget in the mainframe. The mainframe is on the very top level.

Upon reaching the mainframe and installing the widget, every robot in the facility will become hostile. To complete the optional objective, you need a Science skill of at least 50 to hack the mainframe. Once unlocked, the mainframe provides three toggle options to control the robots. The first ("Pest Extermination") protocol makes the robots hostile to your enemies. The second ("Total Liquidation"), active at start, makes them hostile to you and anyone who is friendly towards you. Finally, the third ("Stress Testing") protocol, makes them hostile to each other. Toggling any of the three completes the optional objective; toggling the first protocol is the best setting as they'll attack the radroaches and mole rats but leave you alone.

Alternatively, if you have the Robotics Expert perk, you get the option to just tell Moira about the technology in question, successfully completing the quest and the optional objective immediately; however, this will only work if you have the perk when you start the quest. Note that this will automatically count as a smart response.

Moira will reward you with some pulse grenades if you complete the quest, and a Big Book of Science if you complete the optional objective. *Note that if the optional objective is not completed, there will be an increased number of hostile robots throughout the Wasteland.

Pulse grenades vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Pulse grenades 2 3 4 5 6

After completing the quest and optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Strength, Intelligence, or Charisma is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Endurance, Perception, or Agility. Also note that the 'snide' response is considered negative if the bonus objective is not completed, thereby reducing the quality of the final perk.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "It was easy enough to attach the unit. The mainframe took care of the rest." nothing no
smart "Installation was much easier than reaching the mainframe in the first place." Int 7 no
tough "The unit went in the computer. Then the robots woke up. Pretty straightforward." Str 7 no
sly "Make the right connection, and robots do what you want. Just like people." Cha 7 no
snide "I didn't even need that tele-thingy unit. I was just that good. <Lie.>" nothing negative

sly "Like a charm. I only wish it were always that easy to manipulate people." Cha 7 yes
smart "Even after reprogramming, the robots were of questionable value as allies." Int 7 yes
snide "It was robotic carnage. But I caused it, so it was the okay sort of carnage." nothing yes
standard "Once I adjusted their programming, the robots were no problem." nothing yes
tough "I just hacked the mainframe so the robots would be a challenge." Str 7 yes
smart "I could just write that section for you. Trust me -- I'm an expert."

Arlington Public Library

Main Objective: Access the card catalog at the Arlington Public Library.
Optional Objective: Retrieve complete Library Archive.

Moira would like you to retrieve library data from the Arlington Library. Retrieving the card catalog is enough, but also finding the library archive tape would be a bonus.

The Brotherhood of Steel is guarding the library, so the player will have to be nice to Scribe Yearling in order to be let through, or you can sneak past her. The terminal at the front desk has the Card Catalog Holotape; Yearling will give the player a key if asked, otherwise it must be hacked. In order to get the optional objective, you have to reach the archive terminal. Raiders and radroaches are plentiful, but two Brotherhood of Steel soldiers will help in cleaning up the enemies. The terminal used to download the archives can be found on the third floor of the Library Media Archive, in a room just off of a short hallway which can be accessed from the room containing a ceiling turret.

Moira will pay you bottlecaps for completing the quest, and will give you a Lying, Congressional Style if the optional objective is completed.

Bottle caps vs Level
Level 1 5 8 10 15 16
Bottle caps 50 75 200 250 300 450

After completing the quest and optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Endurance, Intelligence, or Agility is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Perception, or Charisma.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "Yeah, it's still there. The Brotherhood's even trying to clear out the place." nothing no
smart "The building is there, but the books are all ruined." Per 7 no
tough "Most of the books would make better burning than reading." End 7 no
sly "Oh, it's still there, but it's full of raiders. The place is a death trap." Cha 7 no
snide "I may have been able to recover more, but it said to be quiet, so screw that." nothing no
standard "I went to the site of the library, but the building was destroyed. <Lie.>" time negative

sly "The place was a death trap. But I got in and out as quick as I could." Agi 7 yes
smart "This is an entire library's archives. You know how valuable that is, right?" Int 7 yes
snide "The librarian's on duty. I'd have brought you a present, but I forgot my card." nothing yes
standard "The archive was probably the most useful information in there." nothing yes
tough "Now you can protect and catalog all of the information it once had." End 7 yes

Final reward

Completing the third chapter is considered the completion of the entire quest. You are rewarded with 100 XP, a mini nuke (Moira comments how she planned to use it to dig a well, but it actually just made her nervous), a copy of The Wasteland Survival Guide, and the Survival Expert perk. The perk will vary depending on your conversation choices with Moira. See the perk page for more details.

The number of optional objectives you complete not only affects the benefits gained, but the overall usefulness of the guide. The actual description depends on any optional objectives completed as well as end of objective responses given. It can range from being a joke book to a necessity. At its best, Moira lists your character as the main author.

Resultant special encounter

There is a wastelander who has read the book you may randomly encounter after completion of this quest. The following encounters can occur depending on the perk you get at the end of the quest.

  • Junior Survivor: You will find a poorly armed wastelander fighting a mole rat. If the wastelander survives, he/she will give you the book and tell you that it is "good for a laugh".
  • Survival Expert: You will find a wastelander fighting a mole rat. He/she will survive and ask if you are the author. If you reply yes, they will give you a word of thanks.
  • Survival Guru: You will find a well-equipped wastelander finishing off a wounded mirelurk, radscorpion, or a raider. When he/she is done, he/she will ask you if you wrote the book. If you say yes, the wastelander will give you a word of thanks, plus a sum of 10-25 caps depending on your Barter skill.

Resultant Three Dog commentary

If minimal research is done on the book, Three Dog will announce to "Steer clear of the book" and say that the player's "Research methods suck", claiming "It will get you killed quicker than you can say 'Hug a deathclaw'". But if you do well he will claim "It's a must-have while exploring".

Alternative solution

Instead of completing the chapters of the book you can persuade her into not writing the book at all, should you have a high enough Speech skill. As a reward, you will get the Dream Crusher perk, a variable amount of XP (depending on how many chapters have been completed - essentially the quest gives the same amount of reward XP whichever course the player chooses), 30% lower prices at the Craterside Supply, and Moira's repair skill will increase to 54 (+5 from her jumpsuit) from the standard 24. This allows her to repair up to 72% condition, as long as she wears the repairman jumpsuit. Doing this rewards negative Karma and permanently dampens the mood of the normally cheerful Moira. This branch of the quest is most likely non-canon, due to the presence of the survival guide in Fallout: New Vegas.

Quest stages

1 Find Food in the Super-Duper Mart.
2 Find medicine in the Super-Duper Mart. (Optional)
3 Return to Moira.
4 Contract radiation sickness (200 rads).
5 Contract more severe radiation sickness (600 rads).
6 Return to Moira.
7 Travel to the playground in Minefield.
8 Bring a landmine to Moira. (Optional)
9 Return to Moira.
10 Test the repellent on three Mole Rats.
11 Test Stick on seven more Mole Rats. (Optional)
12 Return to Moira.
13 Place the Observer in a spawning pod in the Anchorage War Memorial.
14 Do not kill any Mirelurks in the Anchorage War Memorial. (Optional)
15 Return to Moira.
16 Become seriously injured (50% health or less).
17 Receive a crippling injury. (Optional)
18 Return to Moira.
19 Learn the history of Rivet City.
20 Check other sources to confirm Rivet City's History. (Optional)
21 Uncover Rivet City's true history. (Optional)
22 Return to Moira.
23 Install the Processor Widget in the RobCo Production Facility mainframe.
24 Reprogram the RobCo facility mainframe. (Optional)
25 Return to Moira.
26 Access the card catalog in the Arlington Public Library.
27 Retrieve complete library archives. (Optional)
28Quest finishedIcon checkReturn to Moira.


  • If you have negative Karma, there will be an extra speech option when asking her about the book at the beginning.
  • Two of the objectives can be completed without being on that stage of the quest:
    • Visiting the Super-Duper Mart and opening the fridge, then the Pharmacy Supplies will allow you to complete this part of the quest with a dialogue option while still getting credit for the optional objective.
    • Being irradiated above 600 rads when you ask about "contracting radiation sickness" will allow you to complete this part of the quest with a dialogue option and still get credit for the optional objective.
    • If you have already visited Minefield and gone through the entire town you can tell her you've already been there.
  • Completing The Replicated Man will sometimes not allow you to complete "research Rivet City's history" with a dialogue option even if you read the relevant entry in Pinkerton's terminal; you will need to return to the broken bow and access the terminal again.
  • Copies of the book can be found in Fallout: New Vegas in the Mojave Wasteland.
  • You are given the option of talking to Pinkerton about where your father went whether or not you've been to the GNR Radio Station when talking to him about the history of Rivet City.
  • If you choose to blow up Megaton, Moira Brown survives the explosion, but ends up ghoulified. She then moves on to the Underworld, where you can still complete Wasteland Survival Guide quests and obtain the book afterward.
  • If you kill Moira, a message will appear saying, "Moira has been killed, and her book will never be written." This results failure of the quest.

Behind the scenes

  • The Wasteland Survival Guide was the name of the hint and walk through book for the game Wasteland, considered the inspiration for the first Fallout game.
  • This guide is also included as booklet with at least some of the retail versions of the game.
  • At the end of the quest, the player can snidely remark that Moira likely wants them to go print and distribute the guide, but reassures them that it's not necessary. There is a cut quest involving going to Hubris Comics and doing this task.


  • ps3Icon ps3 xbox360Icon xbox360 Sometimes when choosing the options when talking to her (Tough, Smart, etc.) You will not receive the option for the one you want to choose. This can be fixed by reloading a save and trying again before talking to her.

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