|Important Items in This Area|
Fast travel to the El Ray Motel and make your way west until you reach a concrete ledge overlooking a road. Head south past an NCR barricade and cross a bridge to the west, then loot a Mine Box [Easy] near some more barricades. Clear the buildings to the south of some Fiends, then continue west along the road to find some train tracks, which you should follow north. Past some steel barricades look north, north-west to spot the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters behind a Poseidon Energy gas station… the large bottle statue out front should give it away.
Make your way to the large Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle (which is actually the entrance to the building) and make your way inside the headquarters. There are other entrances into the factory floor, and some Sunset Sarsaparilla Crates you can loot around the outside of the factory. Loot as you will, but for the sake of uniformity it’ll be assumed you went into the front entrance.
The Legend of the Star
In the lobby, search the south-eastern corner to find Festus. The legendary, pre-war entity known as Festus, who supposedly prowls the Mojave placing Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Caps around and promising amazing rewards for them… is an automated mechanical mascot. Talk to it and say "Star Info" to start the quest The Legend of the Star , which tasks you with find enough Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Caps to earn a prize.
By now - if you’ve followed the guide - you should have more than enough of these caps. You need fifty to proceed, but should have over sixty, perhaps closer to seventy, which were found along the course of your journey so far. This is without drinking a single bottle of Sunset Sarsaparilla, which can randomly (around a 5% chance) yield Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Caps. You can also play Lucky Horsehoes with Festus to win some, a dialogue-based mini-game not worth going into too much detail; suffice to say it involves getting as close to 21 as possible, with the player who ends closest to 21 wins.
If you’ve got fifty (or more) or the stars, deposit them with Festus and he’ll give you a prize… which is quite underwhelming, to say the least. Complain, and you’ll be told to go to the vault to get a better reward, ending the quest The Legend of the Star and starting A Valuable Lesson .
Note: After you complete The Legend of the Star all Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Caps you have - and find in the future - will be converted into normal Bottle Caps.
Exploring the Ground Floor
Well, seems like all these fabled stars that so many people died over weren’t worth the effort to collect. Might as well check out the vault, though. You also need to disable the bottle cap press, too, so there’s plenty of reason to explore this place more. First head west through some double doors behind the lobby’s front desk. In some bathrooms through a door to the south you can find an Ash Pile with some loot mixed in it - seems like somebody got zapped by a laser weapon - and a First Aid Box. Further down the hallway to the west, through another set of double doors you’ll find a Vending Machine and through another door to the south you can find a Food Storage fridge.
Return to the lobby and head through a door to the north and into a hallway. Make your way east, then turn north and head down a hallway. On your left are double doors leading to an office room with a collapsed floor that forms a ramp to the upper level. For now, however, turn your attention to the right (east) to find two smaller rooms. The southern of the two is a small storage closet with uninteresting loot, but the northern one contains a Mr. Janitor robot, which can be activated by hacking a Terminal [Average].
Activate the robot, then it’ll head west into two factory rooms, one through the ruined office, and another down a hallway to the west. As you explore these two locations, be wary of the Protectrons lurking around. In the office across from the room where you activated Mr. Janitor you’ll find a few desks to loot, and in the factory behind that are plenty of Sunset Sarsaparilla bottles - both full and empty. In the crated behind an operational "Bottling Robot" Mr. Handy you’ll find numerous full bottles, while in other crates you’ll find empty ones, along with empties on the floor and in some crates upstairs. If you talk to the Bottling Robot it’ll identify you as an intruder and turn hostile.
In the other, larger factory floor at the end of the hall you’ll encounter two "Shipping Worker" Protectrons and many, many crates of empty Sunset Sarsaparilla Bottles. You’ll also find the Bottle Cap Press in the center of the room, next to some crates. Activate it, then strip its parts to satisfy Alice McLafferty… or at least it will, after you report back, anyways. Once the Mr. Janitor robot finishes its cleaning sweep, return to the hallway near the room where it rests (across from the office room) and search the Garbage Can in the hallway to find the fruits of the robot’s labors; over 550 Bottle Caps. Junk in the old world, but valuable currency in the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout.
A Valuable Lesson
Make your way to the office room and head up the improvised ramp to reach the second floor… just avoid the eastern end of the ramp near the pie-chart presentation, as you can get stuck in the floor. Go west through a doorway and into some hallways, which form a loop around this upper floor. In the center of the level are two bathrooms, each of which have a First Aid Box in them, and in an office to the east you’ll find… well, pretty mundane loot.
Continue to the southern end of this hallway loop to find some stairs going down and - to the east - another hallway extending further south. Down the stairs you’ll find two locked doors [Very Hard], one of which is opened (how is a door locked open?) and would have just led to some rubble anyways, while the other leads to a boring office room. Unless you really care to get the XP from unlocking the doors, there’s not much point in bothering with them.
Down the hallway to the south, on the other hand (past another uninteresting office to the east) you’ll find a doorway leading to an office with a hole in the floor. Hack a Terminal [Very Easy] if you want to read some corporate babble, then unlock a Wall Safe [Average] over the hole in the floor to find some more goodies, including a Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Cap, which you should no longer need.
Descend down the hole in the floor, then head through a doorway to the west to find the double doors leading to the vault. If you gave Festus fifty Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Caps earlier, this door will be unlocked. Head inside to find a mess of Sunset Sarsaparilla Deputy Badges; cheap swag that Sunset Sarsaparilla started giving out to winners of their contest to deter complaints. It’s not all a bust for you, however, as there are numerous Sunset Sarsaparilla Crates, each of which generally contains 50 - 150 Caps, or about 1,100 Caps in total. Not a bad haul, there. In the south-western corner of the vault you’ll find the body of Allen Marks - a notorious hunter of Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Caps, and murderer of those who possessed them. Seems he met a fitting end, which you’ll learn about if you pick up the Holotape near his body. Once you pick up the Holotape the quest A Valuable Lesson will end and you’ll get a massive XP reward. If that’s not good enough, pick up the unique Laser Pistol Pew Pew on the floor nearby.
Weapon Info - Pew Pew: For a one-handed Laser Pistol, Pew Pew hits like a ton of bricks, even out-damaging the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle! It uses Energy Cells, which are relatively heavy, but the big downside to Pew Pew is its ammo consumption, using up a whopping five Energy Cells per shot. With a clip size of ten, Pew Pew will get two shots between reloads. It’s reload speed isn’t terribly long, but when you have to do it every two shots… well, make them count. It’s a serviceable weapon, but the downsides might outweigh its raw power, as it forces you to carry around a good bit of ammo. On the plus side, its requirements are functionally nil.
|For learning a valuable lesson||1500 XP|
Head back east into the room beneath the office with the hole in the floor, then jump up the collapsed cabinets to return to the office. Leave the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters building and return to Alice McLafferty at the Crimson Caravan compound, who will reward you for your efforts.
|For disabling the Bottle Cap Press||200 XP 500 Caps NCR Fame|
Now that you’re done dealing with the Crimson Caravan company, it’s time to deal with Cass. There are two quests involving her; Heartache by the Number and Birds of a Feather , which have opposing aims.