5. Dead Money walkthrough
They aren't kidding calling this DLC Dead Money. Even on Very Easy, the first few parts of it are going to be a struggle. You're stripped of all your weapons, armor, and healing items at the start and have to scrounge for everything. To start the DLC, head to the abandoned BoS bunker on the eastern side of the map and enter. You'll be warped to a town.
A few tips:
--- Loot every Sierra Madre Chip you can as you travel through the town. Check fountains especially, as they tend to hold lots, but also check garbage cans, boxes, etc and keep an eye out for random ones laying about.
--- Try to avoid fighting if possible. You can run through a lot of this DLC without killing many enemies, and it will save you a lot of time and frustration. You simply don't have enough ammo or resources to fight every enemy you see at the beginning.
--- Let your companions do the fighting when they're with you. They can't die, only pass out, at least as far as I can tell. I let one of them get knocked over several times and they just pass out until the enemies are all dead, but they will do the lion's share of the killing for you.
--- Make sure you have at least 60 Repair skill before starting this DLC, as well as a 100 Science. If you followed my main game walkthrough, this will already be taken care of. Trust me, it will save you some headache midway through.
I'm not going to hold your hand step-by-step for this. The achievements are all story-related and unmissable except for the one for collecting 500 chips, but you will almost assuredly get that one without trying, and if you don't have it by the time you're in the casino you can play blackjack for it. I earned over 10,000 chips before the casino "banned" me like the ones on the strip do. I think it was around 14k. You should have no trouble whatsoever obviously in getting the 500 for:
Unlocked by 31,191 tracked gamers (96% - TA Ratio = 1.40)
The first thing you'll do when you arrive in town is recruit your 3 companions: Dog, Christine, and Dean Domino. Head to the police station first to rescue Dog. You can look for street signs that have locations listed on arrows to find your way, no need for a map. Once inside the station, make sure you shoot any of the radios with blue lights or old fashioned radios. If you don't, your collar explodes and you die. Head down to the basement and get the recording. Play the recording for Dog and follow the conversation to its end to recruit him. Don't miss the nearby terminal to unlock the contraband room for some much needed equipment.
Next, you'll rescue Christine. Head to the Medical District, to the Clinic. Make a mad dash down to the basement to find a switch to deactivate the radios as they can't be shot here. Do not activate the hologram security or you'll just make life difficult. Head back upstairs and recruit Christine from one of the auto-doc tubes and she'll head to the fountain. If you follow her conversation path through all of its options, she gives you a perk to create counterfeit chips to use at the vending stations.
Last you'll get Dean Domino. Head to the Residential District and move very slowly, keeping an eye peeled for Bear Traps, Land Mines, and Trip Wires everywhere. When you finish the conversation with Dean and he joins you, make sure to stick close to him as he runs off because he will lead you through a shortcut through the poisonous fog safely, greatly reducing the frustration of the trip back. The achievement should pop as soon as he joins, but may pop at the fountain when you talk to Father Elijah.
Unlocked by 32,121 tracked gamers (99% - TA Ratio = 1.38)
Now that you've rounded up all 3 companions, you're going to turn around and scatter them again. Ask each one to partner up with you and escort him/her/it to the respective locations for their part in the next task. If you're having trouble getting Dog to stay in the location he's supposed to be in once you get there, simply play the holotape for him and convert him to God and you'll be able to ask him to stay without problems. Another option is to leave him as Dog and 'lock him in' as I read elsewhere, but I couldn't seem to get the locking him in thing to work. I suggest just converting him to God to save the frustration. To get Dean Domino to stay in his location once you arrive there, just follow the rude/threatening path in the conversation until you get the option to threaten to break his legs. Problem solved.
For Christine, when you arrive at the Switch Station you need to restore the power. This is where your 60 Repair skill comes in. Rather than going on another fetch quest, with 60 Repair you can simply repair the fuse box on the wall. You can use your Science skill on the terminals to deactivate Turrets and Radios in this portion of the DLC too, as well as hacking a the Remote Maintenance Terminal when you arrive with Christine at the elevator to avoid having to make a choice in regards to her Claustrophobia. Alternatively if you lack the 100 Science, you can find the terminal's pass code in Ellis's locker nearby. Since this is the most convoluted and annoying companion quest of the DLC, you can find more details in Christine's portion of the "Mixed Signals" quest HERE.
So with all your companions in their places, head to the top of the Belltower in the Northeast corner of Salida del Sol. You can more or less run past all the enemies in this area to reach the Belltower. Even if you have to use up most of your Stimpacks running past them, you will soon be in the casino with access to more chips than you'll ever need. The quest is Trigger the Gala Event. If you have trouble getting to the Belltower, there is a detailed guide HERE. Start the "event" once you're at the top of the Belltower to unlock:
Unlocked by 30,438 tracked gamers (94% - TA Ratio = 1.42)
Head back to the fountain now and inside the casino. Once you restore power in the casino, you can play blackjack until your heart's content, or you get banned from gambling in the casino. Buy as many Stimpacks as you think you'll need and some ammo for your .357 Police pistols that you surely have by now, and cash out the rest of your chips for Pre-War Money. It's weightless and allows you to carry over your fortunes from the DLC to the main game later.
You'll have to deal with your 3 companions AGAIN. Seriously, the devs were really lacking in the creativity department here. Anyway, simply follow your compass to the various companions and do what it takes to handle them. Keep an eye out for those pesky radios. There is a detailed guide HERE if you're having trouble. The guide in that link starts with the first portion, Put the Beast Down. It has a link within it for the subsequent portion, and so on throughout the rest of the main story.
Once you've dealt with all 3 companions, you'll make your way down to the Vault itself. Once inside, do NOT access the terminal. Loot as you desire around the room. The gold bars are worth a fortune and sell for the full 8,000 caps the vendor at Gun Runners has, but you can only carry so many due to their weight. My max capacity was 300lb and I was able to hold onto 8 of them after I dumped all unnecessary equipment and only kept weightless items (money and Stimpacks) and one weapon. I think I even dropped my armor and ran naked the rest of the way lol.
Anyway, when you're done looting, SAVE your game. This save is so that you won't have to do another playthrough of this horrible DLC. Once that's done, access the computer and go through the dialogue until Elijah says he's on his way down. At this point you can save again if you wish so as not to have to go through the conversation again. Head out the door and crouch down to the right. Wait for Elijah to come all the way out into the room, then run past him to the door he came in from. This prevents him from running back through it and putting up a barrier between you. When he's trapped in the room with you, kill him and make your way back upstairs and out the exit before the place crashes down on you. Try to remember which turns you take for the next part. You'll unlock:
Unlocked by 27,952 tracked gamers (86% - TA Ratio = 1.48)
Reload your save from before killing him. Exit the door of the vault and this time make an immediate left and get the heck out of there before Elijah makes his way down. Run as fast as you can back up the convoluted path to the exit. Try to avoid setting off the holographic security guys, as some have reported that alerting them prevents this achievement. When you make it to the exit without having dealt with Elijah, he gets trapped in the vault and for your troubles you'll unlock:
Unlocked by 24,480 tracked gamers (76% - TA Ratio = 1.58)
Thank goodness that terrible DLC is over with!
Now head to Gun Runners and sell those 8 Gold Bars for 8,000 caps each, waiting 72 hours between each sale. It's up to you how to go about selling the Pre-War Money. Personally I would drop all but a few hundred of them on the ground so that when I went to sell them I wasn't trying to scroll DOWN from 7,500 all the way down to a few hundred. Much faster to scroll from 7500 to 7200 than from 7500 to 300, lol. By the time you're done selling all that loot you'll have more cash than you'll ever know what to do with in this game. It kinda breaks the economy of the game, so if you do it first before doing the main game you'll never, EVER worry about caps.
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