Yours today from Vault-Tec... collect all 20!
So now that you’re ensconced in the scorched wastelands of Fallout 3
(and already growing a third nipple), mayhap is you need a little direction. But before I get started, it would behoove you to get the Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition
if you’re still looking to purchase a copy. It has all the expansions, and you will end up saving about $20 if you were thinking about purchasing them separately via Xbox Live down the road. Plus, they’re all great (except maybe “The Pitt”).
One thing I thought was interesting when I spoke with a couple of my friends who have been playing Fallout 3 for the last couple years, was that neither of them (in any of their campaigns) had collected even half of the elusive Bobbleheads. My dear reader, that is simply a TRAGEDY for anyone who is serious about playing this game. As soon as you get past your childhood prologue, and that Vault 101 alarm goes off, it’s time to start your Bobblehead Collection! There are 20 of these little lovelies spread all over the map, and if you’re smart you’ll make sure none of them end up on Antique Road Show. Remember the Oghma Infinium skill book from Oblivian? Well, each bobblehead is like a mini-Oghma Infinium, adding either one point to a particular S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stat or ten points to a particular skill (remember that one point added to the former also adds multiple points to that stat’s derived skills). Multiply that by 20, and you have a Thunderdome full of free experience. Collecting these bobbleheads has another huge benefit as well: you’ll get a grand tour of the Capital Wasteland, traversing just about every sector of every zone. This will obviously come in handy later when you need to fast travel to otherwise out-of-the-way spots. It’s important to note here that only two of the 20 bobbleheads have to be procured as part of the Main Quest (well, three if you count the very first bobblehead you snatch from your Father’s lab during the prologue). The other 17 are out there and ready for you to find as soon as you exit the vault. Some of them are incredibly easy to get your grubby hands on, while others offer much more the challenge. Below, I’ve listed the 18 bobbleheads I procured (BEFORE completing the Main Quest) along with their locations in order of easiest to hardest in terms of getting to them. Refer to your Prima Guide (you do have one, right?) map for the exact locations.
Medicine (Vault 101) – Just head back into your Dad’s lab after all hell breaking loose.
Unarmed (Rockopolis) – Once you find the hidden passage, it’s right next to the dead body inside.
Big Guns (Fort Constantine) – Explore the shack on the premises. There’s an open safe…
Explosives (WKML Station) – Find the hidden sewage grate on the south side of complex. Check the cistern next to the radio.
Perception (The Republic of Dave) – Venture into the Museum of Dave. It’s on a bookcase shelf.
Repair (Arefu) – Make your way to Evan King’s house. It’s on a table.
Intelligence (Rivet City) – In the Science Lab on a table.
Science (Vault 106) – Deep into the complex in the Medical Bay. You’ll have to take on about ten vault survivors who have lost their sanity. Otherwise, this place is spooky but not too dangerous.
Strength (Megaton) – Find it on a bedroom table in the Sheriff’s house. Unfortunately, you’ll need a Lockpick skill of 50 or higher to even attempt the front door. You should be consistently building this skill, anyway; however, you may have to make this bobblehead procurement one of your last stops in order to give yourself time to do so. Note: If you already have the Lockpick Bobblehead from the Bethesda Ruins (see below), combine that with your Vault 101 Jumpsuit and that gives you a total boost of 15 to the skill. So with a Lockpick base of 35, you’ll be good to go.
Those are the easy ones that entail little to no combat. This next batch gets a little stickier…
Agility (Greener Pastures Waste Dump) – Put on your Radiation Suit or use some Rad-X because you’ll have to sustain a lot of RADs in order to get to the main building on the site. The bobblehead is inside the offices on a desk. There were ghouls running around but they didn’t seem to be hostile.
Endurance (Deathclaw Sanctuary) – Make sure you have some good weapons or explosives because you’ll have to take out a Deathclaw that guards the entrance (a VERY tough enemy). After that it’s a cakewalk (albeit you might want to make it a hidden cakewalk as you make your way inside to the first chamber). The bobblehead is next to a pile of corpses. You should be able to grab it and to get out without being detected.
Lockpick (Bethesda Ruins) – There are raiders everywhere around the streets. Make your way fast to the Bethesda Offices East and be prepared for several skirmishes as you ascend. The little guy is on a desk in the main office of the top floor.
Sneak (Yao Guai Tunnels) – This one can be tough or relatively easy, depending on your weaponry. Regardless, you’ll have to face about six Yao Guais before finally collecting your prize on the eastern side of the main den.
Charisma (Vault 108) – Once again, you’ll have to make your way deep into the facility in order to get to the Cloning Lab. And if you haven’t surmised already, you’ll be fighting about ten deranged clones of a man named Gary (which made me laugh out loud about five times!)
Luck (Arlington House) – Arlington Cemetery is in the D.C. Interior and only accessible via the subway network. The best way to start working your way in would be at the Anacostia Crossing near the Rivet City entrance. You’ll have to do quite a bit of tunneling before reaching the Arlington Station, and thus, you’re in for quite a few fights along the way (mainly raiders, feral ghouls, and Mirelurks). Once you find the house atop a drumlin overlooking the cemetery, the bobblehead is in the basement.
These last bobbleheads are downright tough to get to as you’ll be taking on scores of average to hard enemies. Save your game often and bring plenty of Stimpaks…
Barter (Evergreen Mills) – If you take on this place like I did, then you’re in for one hell of a battle. But unless you have a very high stealth and try to infiltrate at night, I don’t see any way around it. This old mill (the name couldn’t be more ironic) is a large raider base and slave camp with about ten guards just on the perimeter alone. And not making things any better is a Super Mutant Behemoth running around. If you haven’t tackled one of these monsters yet, then be prepared to die a few times. Yet as strong as these mutants are (four times the health of a Deathclaw), they’re not too bright. Lay plenty of mines and keep retreating into any alcove as the behemoths are usually too big to follow (but do not try to outrun them as each of their strides equal about three of your own). Then just be patient because even a few critical hits with a powerful weapon will not take these guys out quickly. Once he’s down and you’ve cleared a path, head for the entrance and be ready for lots of rifling around in the dark. The bobblehead is underground in the Bazaar, on a shelf behind Smiling Jack’s workbench.
Melee Weapons (Dunwich Building) – This one really isn’t as tough as Evergreen Mills, but it’s still a bitch not to mention really creepy. If you haven’t run into a feral ghoul yet, then get ready for about 30 of them to run into you! These enemies are fast and dangerous, but not very strong and can be taken down easily with almost any energy weapon. You’ll have to delve pretty far into the pitch black, radioactive darkness before finding some metal stairs that lead to a lone chamber. Mr. Bobblehead is on the floor grate.
Small Guns (National Guard Depot) – Whelp, this one is the “Rumble in the Concrete Jungle.” Just try not to confuse the National Guard Depot for Fort Knox, because that’s the kind of security you’re in for. Security meaning every robotic terror in the game! Have plenty of pulse grenades as you will be using ALL of them. If you’re good at hacking, that will also come in handy here in order to disarm some particularly nasty turrets. Your goal is to find your way to the top floor of the offices and flip an electrical switch (the red one on the wall next to the downed Nuka Cola machine) in order to gain access to the Armory on the basement level. Head in there and find the well-earned bobblehead on an equipment storage shelf.
So there you have it. Behold the power of the Bobblehead, my friend. Now you can hit that irradiated dirt at a dead run.