This is a step by step guide on getting out of the Vault as the Baby and restoring as much adult functionality as possible at this time. The publishers were given 3 months to comment or object, and declined to do so. So here it is!
Hi folks I’m Bill Ricardi. Yes, the guy who writes about poker and blackjack and used to write about CCG’s. I’m a professional writer and software tester, when I’m not playing Fallout 3 or the Orange Box games, Left4Dead, GTA 4, etc.
A lot of people are saying that the ability to escape Vault 101 as a baby in Fallout 3 must be a hack or a console trick. Well, I’ve done it a hundred times now, and I have it down to a science. I’m going to teach you how to escape Vault 101 as the baby, with no console commands, hacks, or G.E.C.K. use!
Thanks to all of the pioneers who made the first baby breakouts and put them up on YouTube. I decided to get the escape down to a science, so that most people with good reactions could do it after about 2 or 3 reloads. But remember folks, without the YouTube pioneers, I wouldn’t have known to try it at all!
Oh, before anyone asks, I’m a former professional Beta tester for Namco and the change management industry. I have always had the knack for finding the ‘A level bugs’ and getting them as repeatable as possible. I’m not insane, just anal.
* This is a work in progress! Can the baby beat the game, given all of the current disadvantages? Will there be a patch that stops the exploit or possibly allows it with much greater playability? Who knows! I’ll try to stay on top of it.
As of March 27 2009, this guide still works just fine! The 1.4 patch hasn’t taken anything away from the baby escape or baby functionality.*
HISTORY OF THE FALLOUT SERIES EARLY GAME EXPLOITS:
The way I do this is entirely within the spirit of the game! Just like with the early game Fallout 1 and 2 exploits, no ‘cheating’ is used, just an in depth knowledge of the game itself. The sickest exploit of this fashion (which also required some reloading) was at the start of Fallout 2. In Fallout 2, you could risk death by random encounter, run to San Francisco, get the Base quest from the Brotherhood, and have Advanced Power Armor and Plasma by Level 2! What this ended up doing was increasing re-playability without the the normal startup grind. In the spirit of that exploit, I present you with a challenge that actually makes the game harder, in this case.
WHAT YOU NEED:
You’ll need a decent amount of hand-eye coordination, the ability to follow instructions, the intelligence to save often in new slots, and the patience to reload a few times. That’s all. No hacks, no console commands, no save file editing. Just you and the game, and an awesome challenge for you to undertake.
THE ESCAPE PROCESS:
Start the game as normal. Remember when picking a name and face, you’re going to be running around like a 1 foot tall toy soldier! So pick something appropriate. Run through the starting process until you reach the crib.
Pick your SPECIAL skills and get ready to run. Like any other character, pick your stats, but unlike any other character, remember that you are a quarter the size of a Mole Rat, and that you need to move quickly after you close this book.
Save your game as soon as you’re done reading the book! This will give you a fall back point if your upcoming set up doesn’t work out for any reason.
Wait in front of the exit door for dad to come back. I would suggest you set up right about here, at this angle if possible. You’ll see dad on the proximity sensor, so you know about when he’s going to open the door. Get ready!
Save your game here, before the door starts to open! You’ll probably need to reload 10 or 20 times until you get into the groove. But after you’ve done it once, you’ll get it about half the time. You’ll be a pro!
Hop over the door frame just as it is finishing being opened, look down and close it. This is critical to your escape. As soon as dad takes that last step in the door frame, the outer door closes. That is the trigger. So the key is to keep dad on the other side of the door. First use the hop-close, looking down to make the hit. You should time this so that he’s taking a step left just as you’re closing the door in his face.
Take a couple steps out, then turn and close the door again! Oh you cheeky monkey, you just slammed the door in dad’s face again! Those precious two feet that you gained from the last door close should put you in this position.
He’s going to open it, so point your cursor at the base of the frame and tap it as the door opens, to re-close the sucker. The farthest out you can do this from at this angle is shown below.
This screen shot would actually be a failure, because I was pressing Print Screen instead of E at the time, of course. But from this position, you should be able to re-close the door… just don’t click on dad’s foot! If you screw any of this up, reload.
Spin around and run, run for the exit! If you did it right, dad won’t launch into his ‘explorer’ speech, and you’ll hear him reopening the door. You can beat him! RUN!
Step into the hallway. You made it! This is the hall that leads to the time warp door. Turn right and look for the first available unlocked door on your left.
The mystery door will look like this when closed.
Open the mystery door. Don’t freak out. It will be a sheet of grey on the inside. Walk through it.
After the scene changes, turn around and go back to your room. Hey, do you remember this from other games? Yes you were taller and you took the GOAT, but this is what happens after you grow up, right? Events will be a bit different this time around!
Go back to your room, you’ll see the cheesy doormat outside the door.
Go in and grab your stuff! I pick up everything, but at least get the BB gun, ammo, and bat. I’m a loot whore, so I don’t leave a single cup behind in any safe room.
If you sit down, you’ll see that you look really funky, briefly. Don’t worry, later you can unlock views and take a long look.
Follow the Atrium signs until you hit the science lab. The hallways marked Atrium will lead you to where you need to be.
Keep going. Close any doors that have roaches behind them, and don’t try to be a hero. Eventually you’ll see a robot toasting roaches, and you’ll be in the right place.
No, they won’t have the right reactions to you. There won’t be any protracted conversations. Just run in and loot the entire place! Remember to grab the Bobble Head in the next room!
Go left out of the shop, and follow the signs to the Main Entrance. You shouldn’t see any more roaches at this point, but if you do for some reason (not closing doors for example) run!
Save before you encounter your first unavoidable roaches. If you get killed by these guys, you’re unlucky or just plain bad. But save before you see one, just to be sure. In a new slot of course, you never know when something gets FUBAR, to use an army term. Then say hello to these guys.
There is no sneaking. Just run past them at as great a distance you can manage. Keep running, following the Admin signs.
You can stop and grab the stuff on the engineer’s body and in his tool case if you want. Honestly, you shouldn’t lose more than a few hit points, even from 4 of these guys, if you run. Head into the Administrative section. The roaches don’t follow you through the door, don’t worry. If you turn around, you’ll see them slink off like this.
Heal via toilets. As tempting as it might be to try one of the green beds, resting is yet another thing you can’t do right now. No VATS, no resting, no combat, no Pipboy.
Instead, go into any of the rooms with toilets or sinks, and drink your way to full health.
Proceed to the Overseer’s area. Loot everything on the way.
Loot his guest room.
Loot his bedroom to get his key!
Use the Overseers Key to unlock his main office, then loot the lockers. You’ll need this stuff, trust me. Mainly his password!
Lockers with his password are just on the right.
Loot them and you’ll see the password note.
Use the terminal to open the escape tunnel, then save your game. Yes yes, you could hack it, but why waste time?
The tunnel looks huge, but remember, you’re tiny! Save your game here, because crashes or roaches will cause tears at this point. Head down the tunnel.
Run past the roaches, hitting the switches that open doors on the way. You should be fully healed from the toilets anyway, this shouldn’t do too much damage. If it does, you can reload because you followed my instructions and saved, right? Good.
Look for the switches, just like a normal escape.
Head towards the final door. The roaches are usually gone by now. And oddly, no guards spawn to run out at you, like they normally would. If you look back, you just see an empty hall, despite the verbal guard chatter to stop you.
Trigger the door and pick your tag skills! Remember, you didn’t go through the normal process, so those Tags are unused right now! Click on the Tags section, and pick as normal.
The Edit Tag Skills brings you here.
Pick them, then Finish the process.
Level up! Escaping always gives you the XP to level up, so do it. I suggest getting at least 25 in Explosives, so that you can deal with a certain bomb.
Head due east into town, following the Megaton signs. I’ve never seen a random encounter if you just head right down main street.
Loot the mailbox if you want some nice grenades! But keep going.
Ohhh arrows and everything!
There it is!
Enter Megaton, take the bomb quest. Really, you want to. You have to get fixed up by the doc anyway, and the bomb quest triggers all sorts of great options that get you gear, cash, and experience.
Hey, when he’s standing downhill, you can almost see eye to eye with him!
Head to the wonderful Clinic. About half your problems are about to disappear.
Talk to Doc Church, and trade with him to trigger the repair of your VATS, your views, and your combat. Here he is, the miracle man himself!
Trade away all of the crap you don’t want, and lo and behold…
… he fixes you in the process! Well sort of. VATS works now.
You can see how tiny you are and zoom in and out.
But your Pipboy is screwed.
As you can see it is way too close. What I’ve done is trial and error-ed until I had decent weapons hot-keyed. Use a normal picture of the Pipboy to guide you. I run 2 screens, so I can look over there and guess where the buttons are.
Here are screenshots from my normal level 20. Looking at it, I know I can go to STATS and press S for a stimpak heal, even if I can’t see it for my baby.
Here is what a normal items screen looks like. So I can hold down 1 and click something on the left. Then do the same for all of the keys up to 0. I may end up hoy-keying a lot of crap, but through trial and error (and selling stuff I never want to use), I can get by.
Aid items are pot luck. Accident addition is possible if you carry around stuff like that. But eventually you’ll find your Nuka Cola and frozen dinners, books, etc.
Using the world map is funny at best, random at worse. This is what it looks like, but good luck doing it blind. Ditto quests, and you’ll have no access to anything other than audio notes, blindly.
Start adventuring! Until they either make a patch that gets the Pipboy working, or we find some in game event that might fix it (one of the appearance altering quests might have a shot, from haircuts to face surgery, but probably not), or there is a patch that happens to fix it, or the designers like this guide so much they patch it just for our enjoyment, this is as functional as your baby gets.
Mess around with it, and see how being 1 foot tall is a very special, and fun, hell!
If you have anything to add, please note that this guide is about the escape and gaining baby function ONLY! Post baby-escape strategy is fun, but won’t be part of the guide unless it restores the Pipboy or something. I beg of you, don’t contact me if you think it is too hard, I can’t help you there. Please note that I won’t include hacks or console commands in the guide, though if a console command fixes the Pipboy display, I may include it for non-purists. I consider the Pipboy thing as a direct result of the exploit, and hope for either an official or in-game fix to it.
With all that in mind, you can reach me at: http://billricardi.com/contact.html