Fallout: New Vegas Strategy Guide

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms
    Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    1 November 2015
  • Last Updated
    16 March 2018
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin

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Searchlight, Novac, and the REPCONN Test Site

Searchlight, Novac, and the REPCONN Test Site

Novac

Important Items in This Area
1st Recon Beret
D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine
That Gun

Follow the train tracks north to the outskirts of Novac until you come to a road the tracks bisect. Follow the road east into Novac, with the big green dinosaur in the horizon. That’s where you ultimately want to end up, but there’s a few people to talk to and houses to loot along the way.

McBride House

The first house to the south belongs to the McBride family, lovely people having a bit of a cow problem. Talk to Alice and she’ll mention Jeannie May, the self-appointed busy-body of Novac who runs the inn and No-bark, the town crazy. Talk to Dusty and he’ll elaborate on their cow problems, then offer to help out to get the note "Midnight Ranch Attacks". Once that’s done, ask about the checker-suited man you’re chasing and he’ll refer you to Jeannie May, who knows more of the going-ons in Novac. If you’re sneaky, you can loot the First Aid Box [Easy] in the bathroom and the Gun Case [Average] on the shelf in the living room to score a Hunting Rifle and some .308 Rounds. The Hunting Rifle is a mid-grade rifle that’s generally superior to the Cowboy Repeater… but with Ratslayer and Gobi at hand, it really doesn’t fill a niche that another gun doesn’t fill better. And it uses up precious .308 Rounds. Yuck. Feed them to the Gobi, instead.

Jeannie May Crawfords House/Novac House

North of the McBride House you can find a Novac House which can be robbed. Inside you’ll find a First Aid Box [Very Easy] in the bathroom and in the bedroom you’ll find a 10mm Pistol and some 10mm Rounds in a beside table and a Footlocker [Average]. East of this house is Jeannie May Crawford’s House, which is uninteresting save for a locked Refrigerator [Average]. North-east of Jeannie May’s house is another Novac House (past a boarded up Novac house that can’t be explored) where you can find a Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Cap on a table in the kitchen, a Refrigerator, a Cabinet and - under a bed in the bedroom - a Footlocker [Easy]. You’ll have to steal in the first two houses, but in the third… the owner apparently just doesn’t care.

Dusty's been having a bit of a problem with this Brahmin turning up as mulch in the morning (left). Resident crazy-person No-Bark has some tales about what he saw happen to the Brahmin (right).

No-Bark

North-east of the second Novac House is No-bark’s shack, although No-bark is often wandering around near the houses to the south during the day. Talk to him and navigate his initial paranoia to get him to speak about more important matters. Concerning the McBride’s cattle problem, he’ll identify the attacker as a chupacabra sporting a minigun. Right… He’ll also tell you about some bogus story he heard about Ghouls lurking in the REPCONN Test Site to the west (it’s really commie ghosts, of course) which starts the quest Come Fly With Me. Finally ask about the checker-coated man you’re chasing and he’ll refer you to a mustachioed sniper who keeps watch from the dinosaur by the inn. After all that gibberish is out of the way, you can play Caravan with him, and since he’ll bet around 800 Caps. Good, easy money, especially if you’ve been buying cards and keeping your deck stocked, as much as possible, with 7s, 9s, 10s, Jacks and Kings. In No-bark’s Shack (where he’ll be at night) disarm a rigged shotgun near the door to get at No-bark’s precious… vending machine and Metal Helmet? Ah well…

Note: No-bark - unlike the merchants you’ve played so far - doesn’t have the sense to quit playing Caravan. Visit him every couple of days and he’ll have his full purse back; a fat 800 Caps. You can defeat him at Caravan somewhat regularly for a stead stream of income.

Dr. Ada Straus and the Gas Station

Leave No-bark’s house and follow the nearby road south, south-west until you reach an intersection, at which point continue on to find a tent, outside of which is Dr. Ada Straus, who will heal your boo-boos and suck out those nasty RADS, as well as sell you over-priced chems. To the east, south-east you’ll find a gas station, which can be looted for all kinds of materials (although it’s stealing), most of which are on metal shelves. You can also make use of a Workbench and Reloading Bench in a garage.

Dino Dee-Lite

Make your way north from the gas station to find the Dino Dee-lite inn. Enter the front desk office to find Jeannie May Crawford, and overly friendly lady who will tell you about the dinosaur mascot out front, some "sinister characters" near the REPCONN center, the town of Nelson, now occupied by slavers and the snipers who keep Novac from suffering a similar fate. Mostly stuff you already knew. You can pick the Safe [Easy] behind the counter, but leave it alone for now… you’ll come back to it soon enough.

You can buy the unique weapon That Gun from the Dino Bite Gift Shop (left) or you can steal it from the supply room (right).O

Dino Bite Gift Shop

Exit the Dino Dee-lite and head east, south-east to find Dinky the dinosaur, the interior of which is the Dino Bite Gift shop, run by Cliff Briscoe. He’ll desperately try to sell you on some of those stupid dinosaur toys before ultimately realizing that you, like everybody else, is more interested in survival than garbage that wasn’t useful two hundred years ago. Ask about some souvenirs and he’ll tell you some history and - more importantly - point out the location of REPCONN Headquarters. You can also buy stuff from him and play Caravan, of note he sells the unique gun call… That Gun. Not a very inspiring name… you can also steal the gun, however, if you’re cheap.

Speaking of which, you can find two Ammo Boxes behind the counter and some Bobby Pins under the counter. Pick a locked door [Very Easy] to reach a storage room. A storage room filled with Rocket Souvenirs, which are bathing the room in radiation. Pick up whatever souvenirs - both dinosaur and rocket - then loot the Metal Boxes if you want more. On a metal shelf near the door you’ll find That Gun , which is the only thing that counts as stealing in this room… Just close the door behind you if you want to steal it easily.

Weapon Info - That Gun: That Gun is a moderately powerful semi-automatic pistol that fires 5.56 ammunition. Its damage per shot is comparable to Lucky, although its DPS is higher, but its range leaves much to be desired. Its requirements - a Guns score of 50 and six Strenth - are also fairly high for what you’re getting. All in all, there’s not much of a reason to recommend this gun over Lucky save for the cheaper ammo… especially if you mix up some 5.56, Match ammo with the Hand Loader perk.

Head up some stairs to the south-east to reach the dinosaur’s mouth, where Novac’s two snipers keep watch; Manny Vargas during the day, and Boone during the night. If you find Manny, talk to him and he’ll tell you about the threats Novac faces, and the relationship the two snipers had… one which soured recently. Learn about this dispute and the Bitter Springs incident, then ask about the man in the checkered suit. Vargas knows about him, but before he’ll talk, he wants a favor from you. Nothing serious, though… just clear out the Ghoul-infested REPCONN Test Site.

If you find Boone… well, talk to him, too. He’s not too friendly, but despite his rude demeanor, he wastes no time asking you for a favor. Ask him "Expecting visitors", then succeed at a [Speech 41] check to earn some extra experience out of the encounter. Either way, he’ll tell you about his wife’s disappearance and suggest that she was set up by somebody in town… and you, as a stranger, might be able to find out what he can’t. Agree to help him and he’ll give you his Beret, and the quest One for My Baby will begin.

Rest until night and be sure to talk to Boone at least. While you’re in town you might as well help Boone out. Also, since you have to find out what’s happening to the McBride’s cattle at night… well, two birds.

One of the town's guardian angels will try to enlist your aid in investigating the REPCONN Test Site (left) while the other wants you to help with a more personal matter (right).

One For My Baby

You can talk to the previous characters you talked to, who can now be questioned about Boone’s wife. In general you’ll get the impression that she was too much of a city girl for Novac, and in general just not a pleasant person to be around. The source of revelation is, oddly enough, No-bark, who will tell you about some characters who sneaked into Boone’s motel, then paid a visit to the inn. Return to the Dino Dee-Lite office and loot the Safe [Easy] to find the note "Bill of Sale". Grab (and the other loot) and read the note to confirm that Boone’s wife - and his unborn child - were indeed sold into slavery, and just who exactly is responsible.

Go to Jeannie May’s house and ask her to follow you to in front of the dinosaur. In fact, you should follow her to the appointed spot and, once there, put on Boone’s Beret and wait for the magic to happen. Once it does, return to Boone and show him the Bill of Sale to convince him he made the right call… or whoever shot Jeannie did. He was, after all, on break at the time. Alternatively you can give him a less convincing answer, but you’ll have to follow it up with a [Speech 55] check or piss Boone off. Assuming the latter didn’t occur, ask about his future and he’ll tell you he’s going to hunt legionaries and wander, which sounds oddly close to what you may be doing.

Ask him to join you and he will, but be warned; he’s not a fan of the Legion, especially not now. You cannot keep both Boone and the Legion happy. Unless you’ve already made the decision to be pro-NCR, Boone might cause trouble, but he’s a handy companion if you keep him away from any legionaries you don’t want to fight. While he’s with you you’ll benefit from the "Spotter" perk, which highlights foes when you aim at them… supposedly making it easier to hit them? Whatever, a less dubious reward is the 1st Recon Beret which you’ll get for completing the quest One for My Baby . This wonderful headwear doesn’t provide any DT, but it does grant +1 Perception and a whopping +5% critical hit chance. It’s basically like wearing the Finesse perk on your head. If your build makes use of critical hits (as the suggested build in this guide does), you’ll want this thing on your head at all times.

Search the safe in the Dino Dee-Lite Office for the Bill of Sale (left) then take Jeannie May outside of Novac so Boone can get some revenge (right).

Note: Boone’s character specific quest I Forgot to Remember to Forget will only unlock after he trusts your anti-Legion sentiments enough. Simply put, having him in your party when you do certain things to hurt the Legion and you’ll make progress towards unlocking this quest. Freeing the Powder Gangers at the Legion Raid Camp is one such event, and other opportunities will be pointed out as they come up, and generally, since this guide is avoiding doing too many Legion vs. NCR quests early, if you choose to side with the NCR you’ll be able to accomplish this during the pro-NCR quests later on. Still, it never hurts to earn points early.

Objective Reward
For helping Boone avenge his wife and child 150 XP 100 Caps 1st Recon Beret

Wait outside of the McBride Ranch to find No-Bark's chupacabra (left). Kill the Nightkin and tell Dusty the good news (right).

The Screams of the Brahmin

Head over to the McBride House and wait inside until midnight, if it’s not already near then already. Once the time is right, head outside and wait near the western end of the pen and eventually a Nightkin (or a Nightkin Master, depending on your level) should show up… although they’ll likely be cloaked. After a bit, they’ll yell at the Brahmin and attack with their Minigun. Do your best to put them down; as a powerful foe the Gobi might seem like a good call, but with Super Slam, melee attacks can work just as well. Once the Nightkin is dead, loot them for the note "The Screams of the Brahmin", then tell Dusty McBride the good news. He’ll give you a key to the Refrigerator from which you can loot 10 Brahmin Steaks as well as 75 Caps (50 Caps if the Brahmin died). You’ll also get enough Fame to boost your reputation to "Accepted" in Novac.

Objective Reward
For saving the McBride's Brahmin 75 Caps 10 Brahmin Steaks Novac Fame

Finishing Up Novac

You’re almost done in Novac, but before you head to the REPCONN Test Site, revisit the Dino Bite Gift Shop and talk to Cliff Briscoe, who has taken over Jeannie May’s properties since her death. For some reason, he’ll decide to give you a permanent residence here in Novac; a motel room on the upper floor near the Dino Dee-lite office. It’s a pretty nice pad, having a bed and plenty of places to store things… but there’s not really a water source nearby. If you dig it, use it. Either way, let’s meet the neighbors, eh?

Okay, "meet" wasn’t really the best word. "Rob" is more appropriate. In most of the motel rooms you can find plenty of food, chems, and other minor loot to steal, at your leisure. In one of the upper motel rooms you’ll find Bruce Issac, a singer from New Reno who had a bit of a… "misunderstanding" with his boss, Mr. Bishop. He’s looking for new work while he waits for things to cool down back home. Leave him alive and well and maybe you’ll happen to find somebody looking for a singer. Hopefully they won’t leave money - or daughters - lying around near Bruce, however. You can also find Daisy Whitman wandering around, a former Enclave member who flew Vertibirds, in case you didn’t get enough Fallout 2 nostalgia from Bruce.

Did You Know?: New Reno is a city in Fallout 2, and Mr. Bishop is one of the mafia families that ran New Reno. Who ended up in power at the end of Fallout 2 depended on the protagonist’s actions, but the odds favored another family more. As a male character, you could have had sex with (and impregnated) either Mr. Bishop’s wife or daughter, in which case the descendant of the protagonist took over New Reno sometime later. Since Fallout 2 took place 40 years before Fallout: New Vegas, it’s doubtful the characters Bruce Issac refers to are the same characters from Fallout 2. For Bruce Isaacs’s story to make sense the Mr. Bishop he’s talking about would have to be the illegitimate son of Fallout 2’s protagonist, or the Bishops were left in power at the end of Fallout 2 and either the protagonist didn’t sleep with either Bishop’s wife or daughter, or the protagonist was female.

Grab the D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine from the bed in Ranger Andy's Bungalow (left) and learn the Ranger Takedown technique from him (right).

Search the rest of the motel rooms, especially Manny Vargas’s motel. In here you can find a terminal on which you’ll find the entry "Message: Khan Hospitality" which will tell you want Manny Vargas knows about the checker-suited man; they’re heading to Boulder City. While learning this means you don’t need to mess around with the REPCONN Test Site… but you might as well anyways, since it’s right there and all.

Head over to the Bungalows across from the motel rooms and loot Cliff Briscoe’s house, where you can find a Gun Case on a shelf. Once done, head over to Ranger Andy’s Bungalow and talk to Ranger Andy. Poor, unhappy, injury-prone Ranger Andy. Listen to his sad story about how he became an ex-ranger, then indulge his whining about the unresponsive nearby ranger station. Offer to help him by checking on the ranger station, then succeed at a [Speech 30] check and he’ll teach you the Ranger Takedown perk. Talk to him again and he’ll give you the note "Check on Ranger Station Charlie" and… well… one more little favor wouldn’t hurt, would it? Before that, loot his Gun Case [Average] to score a Trail Carbine and grab a copy of D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine off his bed.

Offer to check on the soldiers at Ranger Station Charline (left) then return to the Ranger Station to find that Ranger Andy's fears were justified (right).

Checking on Ranger Station Charlie

Fast-travel back to Ranger Station Charlie and enter the building to find a number of dead NCR Troopers lying around. Under their bodies are Frag Mines, so approach them cautiously. Disarming them may be easier if you drag the bodies away from the mines. In the side room you’ll find a trip-wired rigged to a Bottlecap Mine, which is also a proximity device, and will cause the air tanks nearby to explode. Either disarm the trip-wire and quickly pick up the Bottlecap Mine, or just stand back and shoot the air tanks. Loot the dead NCR Ranger in this room to obtain some NCR Ranger Patrol Armor and other goodies, then loot the Floor Safe [Average] under the bunk beds in the south-eastern corner of the room and the Footlocker [Easy] in the north-eastern corner. Once done return to the first room and find the notes "Ranger Station Charlie Audio Log 1" under the desk and "Ranger Station Charlie Audio Log 2" on a Metal Box. Listen to the disturbing audio logs then leave the building then Return to Ranger Andy and tell him the news to get a reward… or succeed at a [Speech 60] check to sugar-coat your findings. You’ll get twice as many Caps if you succeed at the Speech skill check, but you’ll get less Novac Fame.

Objective Reward
For telling Ranger Andy the fate of Ranger Station Charlie 200 - 400 Caps NCR Fame Novac Fame

Reputation Note: If you’re following this guide’s approach to Fame and Infamy (gain as much of the former, mitigate the latter), you should now be "Accepted" by the NCR. If this is the case, an NCR Ranger will show up and give you an NCR Emergency Radio.