May 18, 2014

Fallout 2 Guide

I tried to base this guide on all the possible quests, things to find, and things to do in each location. It's more of a guide than a walkthrough, though it does contain detailed instructions for some of the tricky bits. I feel that this structure will allow you to role-play freely (different characters have to solve problems in different ways), yet still help you to find obscure objects or quests.

If you are looking for a specific object or location, just search for the name of it with your browser. Orientation-wise, directions are always given assuming that the top of your screen is 'north'. The longer compass direction names are abbreviated, such as NE for northeast. I purposely didn't put in a Table of Contents, lest you see all the exotic places you're eventually going to visit before you're supposed to know about them. Though the locations are presented in the order that you would typically reach them, your mileage may vary.

This guide was written using the U.S. version, patched to V1.02. Owners of the U.K. and some other European versions may note that there are no children running around in their game, so some of the comments pertaining to them in this guide may not make sense, and a few minor quests will not be available. Beware that if your Intelligence (IN) is too low (I mean, your character's in the game, silly. Don't take it personally ;-), you won't be able to get most of the quests here simply because no one will be able to converse with you! Likewise, not having a high enough Charisma (CH) or Speech skill will also alter NPC responses, and you may miss out on important conversation choices that lead to quests. So, I recommend having both IN and CH at a minimum of 6 (you might scrape by with lower CH if you have a decent Speech skill) to keep your options open. If in doubt in a particular situation, pop a Mentat to boost both temporarily. Just for kicks, it's worth starting up a game with IN 3. Yes, it's a very well balanced game :-)

Luck, or dice rolls, and your stats play an important part in conversations. That's why it's very important that you save the game before every conversation. If you feel afterwards that the outcome could have been more favourable, restore to before the conversation and try it again. You just might get the dialogue choice you've been hoping for the next time through! If you consistently get the same undesirable choices, try improving your IN and CH by popping a Mentat before the conversation. Some dialogues even depend on your Science or Doctor skill, and I've tried to indicate this where possible. Unless you are going the diplomatic route, and have enough CH to be able to talk your way out of anything, make sure you start off the game with greater than 50% of either Unarmed or Melee skill. It will be quite a while before you obtain any decent weapons! Beware that one of your first encounters involves fighting bare-handed, so even Melee won't help here. I recommend a minimum Strength (ST) of 6. With less than this, you'll be severely disadvantaged at hand-to-hand, unable to take any unarmed perks (most decent ones have a min ST of 6 requirement), and you won't be able to carry much inventory either. Likewise, unless you're going to play the 'ultimate bruiser' type of character, a starting ST of 9 or 10 is a waste, since you get a chance later on to increase your ST by 3 using... artificial means! Unless you are taking on the role of a thief, a decent Barter skill is also vital. Owing to a design peculiarity in Fallout, Armour Piercing (AP) ammo doesn't do exactly what it's meant to, and is woefully ineffectual.

So, it's best to just sell any that you find. Stick to the JHP for actually loading into your weapons. Early in the game, when your character is relatively weak, there is a sure-fire way to defeat critters like Ants, Radscorpions, and Silver Geckos without taking so much as a scratch: approach to within about 5 hexes. Let them come right up to you. Then, hit them with your best shot, but make sure you have at least 5 AP left. Then retreat in a straight line. They will follow you, but won't have enough AP left to strike! Repeat until critter is dead. NPC's make great packrats. They can help you carry all the stuff you pick up after encounters with hostile critters. Be careful about giving them burst capable weapons though... or you could find yourself replaying a lot of encounters :-( Also, be sure to fine-tune them before heading out on the wasteland. You don't want someone wasting valuable ammo on easy critters (rat is hit for 243 hit points... yeah, I think it's dead. Just wasted a rocket, dammit!) In this case, take their best weapon or ammo away from them before heading out. On the other side of the coin, make sure you use the Combat Control dialogue to ensure they are using their best weapon when you know an important encounter is coming up. A high Outdoorsman skill is extremely useful for avoiding unwanted random encounters. Sometimes, you just want to get from A to B without being bothered. Carrying a Motion Sensor in your personal inventory while travelling is alleged to help in avoiding random encounters. And you get XP for using this skill! Like the man says: save, save, SAVE! You never know when you're going to mess up in combat, blow a dialogue with an NPC, etc.

Contrary to what you may hear on the grapevine, you can also save during combat, though this practice does seem to make the game more likely to crash... but you just saved, didn't you? So, no big deal. Those pre-apocalyptic Californians must have been avid readers. There are bookcases everywhere. A lot of them contain valuable stuff, so check every bookcase, desk, pot, locker, etc. Anything that exhibits a hand icon when you move your cursor over it is worth having a look at. Scavenge to your heart's content! The designers hid stuff behind walls in this one, so check for items everywhere! You can rest nearly anywhere when no hostile critters are nearby. Derelict buildings in most towns make a perfect spot for this sort of activity. There's no rush to get through Fallout 2. Use the time! Why waste Stimpaks when you can heal while resting or travelling? There are all sorts of people to sleep with, marry, etc. I didn't bother to document any of these... encounters, unless they furthered the plot :-) Well, are you ready to begin your quest?


Copyright Steve Metzler ( - March, 1999. All rights reserved.

Fallout 1, 2 Tactics, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4