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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From The Vault

Trouble on the Homefront

Ah, home sweet home.
location: Vault 101
given by: Vault 101 Distress Signal
reward: Modified Utility Jumpsuit
Banishment from Vault 101
300 xp
Butch as a follower
related: Escape!
base id: 00014EA3
Trouble on the Homefront

requirements: Complete Trouble on the Homefront
gamerscore: 20
trophy type: Bronze

Trouble on the Homefront is a Fallout 3 quest. It is also an Xbox 360 and PC achievement and a Playstation 3 trophy.


Objectives and walkthrough

This quest will be activated anytime after completing The Waters of Life quest (which is part of the main storyline) by picking up the Vault 101 Distress Signal on your radio. To pick up the Vault 101 Distress Signal simply wander near Vault 101 (Megaton is close enough). It is a message from Amata asking you to return to Vault 101 to help stop her father, the Overseer. If you killed the original Overseer while escaping from Vault 101, Allen Mack will be the new Overseer and you can still do this quest (although the radio message changes to "...the new Overseer is insane. If you can hear this, please stop looking for your dad and help save us. ").

Since you and your father escaped from Vault 101, the Vault has been divided into two major factions. The faction led by Amata, holed up in your father's Clinic, wants to open the Vault and interact with the outside world. The other faction is led by the Overseer and he wants to keep the vault closed permanently, in accordance with its mission. A few of Amata's rebels, notably Butch, want to abandon the vault entirely and live on the surface; the majority, however, intend to remain living in the vault but want to be able to make excursions into the wasteland when necessary.

One of the most essential reasons for having access to the wasteland and the remainder of humanity, apart from the obvious need for supplies and parts for the vault's aging life support apparatus, is to avoid collapse due to genetic stagnation and inbreeding - the number of vault 101 residents has fallen significantly in the two centuries since it was sealed, implied heavily by various conversations and other means (such as a message encouraging procreation on the text messages) prior to the Lone Wanderer's initial escape, and if he/she successfully persuades the overseer to allow exterior access then the overseer himself will finally accept and openly admit that without external input, the vault's population will not remain genetically viable for more than a generation or so.


Although there are only three markedly different outcomes, there are plenty of ways to finish each. Be creative!


Keep the Vault closed

  • Simply ignore the radio message. The signal will cease after a while and you will lose the opportunity to gain xp and the Modified Vault 101 Utility Jumpsuit.
  • You can also just enter Vault 101 once, talk to some people and/or take items (such as opening the safe in your father's office) and then exit the vault. After leaving, you will be unable to reenter the vault as it has been locked again.
  • Kill the rebels. Killing Amata only should break them up, but you may also have to kill the other rebels as well.(You'll gain bad karma for this even if you're trying to keep the Vault closed). NOTE: Killing Amata obviously does NOT sit well with Alphonse Almodovar, who will turn hostile if you use this route.
  • Persuade Amata to stay in the Vault (using Speech) and it will also convince the rebels to stay in the vault. (You'll gain good karma for this).
  • Hack the Overseer's computer and discover the attempts by the Enclave to gain entry into Vault 101, and the Overseer's refusal to admit them. Speak to Amata and tell her this and it will convince her and the rebels to stay in the Vault. This has the same result as Speech, but without the skill check. (You'll also gain good karma for this).

After dealing with the rebels, you may talk to the Overseer who will ask you to leave. If you ask him about a G.E.C.K. he will tell you that Vault 101 never had one and will offer you the Modified Utility Jumpsuit instead, but only if you disbanded the rebels without violence. Alternatively, you can ask him for food and ammo and get 15 Cram that has no radiation and 350 5mm rounds in place of the suit. Even if you managed to stop the rebels, Butch will actually end up in the Muddy Rudder at Rivet City but you are not able to talk to him from that point on (thinking that you betrayed him even though you convinced him, Amata and the rebels to stay in the Vault and even though he being in the Muddy Rudder proves that he managed to leave the Vault on his own).

Open the Vault

  • Kill the current Overseer.
  • Discuss with the Overseer about why the Rebels are correct. By using a Speech skill check, he will realize that the Vault won't survive more than a generation or two no matter how many supplies they may receive. NOTE: This will only be available if Alphonse Almodovar is still the Overseer. (You'll gain good karma for this).
  • View the computer in the security office either by hacking into it or obtaining the password from the desk or Officer Wilkins. Then inform the Overseer of Security's plans to kill the Rebels. Similarly to Amata, this is a guaranteed way to achieve this outcome (as long as Alphonse is Overseer) . You can also learn of the plan from Mr. Brotch after releasing him from the cell. (You'll also gain good karma for this).

Amata will take on the role of Overseer - if the Overseer is still alive, he relinquishes the role. Amata will show regret and sorrow if you had to kill the Overseer, or excitement and amazement if you managed to persuade her father to step down without violence. If you talk to her she will then 'ask' you to leave the vault permanently even if you instead persuaded her father to stand down without violence and will provide you with the Modified Utility Jumpsuit (only if you didn't use violence). You may randomly encounter Vault 101 citizens in the Wasteland (on trading or scouting missions); talk to them and they will give you purified water but say that you still cannot return. Butch will end up in Rivet City at The Muddy Rudder.

Destroy the Vault

Hack the (Hard) computer in the sub-basement or steal the Vault 101 Maintenance Password from Stanley, the maintenance man, who can be found wandering around the cafeteria/dorm level. Go into manual override mode and perform a flush and a purge. This will flush the water chip, resulting in a catastrophic system failure (if Stanley is performing maintenance on the system, as he tends to do, the resulting explosive malfunction will kill him). Everyone is forced to evacuate the vault and you will see them spread out in the Wasteland (you lose Karma for this). This is always an option (unless you have loaded the latest patch, see below) - you can even complete the quest with another method and then flush the chip, although this will render anything you did before meaningless from the quest's point of view.

  • The passcode only unlocks the terminal and does not enable you to unlock any extra areas of the Vault.
  • You can lie to Amata that it was the Overseer's plan, or lie to the Overseer that the rebels did it. In the latter case he will stay where he is, ashamed at what he has caused, which results in his death.
  • In the latest patch the option to Destroy the Vault is lost after completing the mission through interaction with either Amata or the Overseer. Back at the filtration room computer the option "Begin Water Chip Service" now returns the message "Service Disabled - See Vendor" when selected. This applies even if Butch has given you the optional task to Sabotage Vault 101.Actually you can talk to Butch and ask him "what happened down here" and he'll tell you that some "problems" with the air purifier and an optional thing for the quest saying "destroy the vault" will pop up and you can now destroy the water chip

Obviously, life in the vault is no longer feasible. A random encounter may occur where Amata is being interrogated by the Enclave. If she gives up the location for Vault 101, she will be executed. If you save her life she runs away from you, cursing you for all the trouble you caused. She doesn't have a destination and will eventually be killed by one of the horrors of the wasteland. Other Vault 101 members will be scattered throughout the Wasteland as well and will unsurprisingly be hostile towards you. There is another random encounter in which the Lone Wanderer can discover the body of Freddie Gomez.

Doing this nets no rewards of any kind except bad karma; if you particularly want a reward then you can complete the quest that way, get the reward, and then destroy the chip. You can of course still loot the Vault - it's not like anybody is going to need it afterwards.


Not just evil, but a complete psychopath? There's an option for that too! Killing the overseer after getting the vault either open or closed results in failure of the quest itself. They also cause the Vault to be left open and you can come and go as you please, but all residents will turn hostile. A message will appear explaining that Vault 101 has been 'thrown into chaos'. If you decide to make it a home-away-from-home, be aware that even after you've killed all the people, the place will become infested with radroaches.

  • It's possible for this to happen accidentally - if you convince the rebels to stay and then go to the Overseer when Officer Wilkins is nearby he will cause the Overseer to become hostile as well. This won't instantly cause failure unless the Overseer actually dies.

Killing the overseer after closed results did not result in a failure on the PS3 with Broken Steel installed.

Glitchy Endings

  • It is possible to kill the leaders of both sides without failing the quest. Resolve the situation, killing people if you want, but spare the acting Overseer (whether it is Amata, her dad, or Mack). Attack the Overseer and make them pursue you to the entrance of the vault but don't kill them. After the vault door closes and the quest is deemed completed, you can revel in the joy of slaying the previously "critical" NPC and getting away with it. You won't receive the message about the vault being thrown into chaos if you achieve this.
  • It is also possible to finish the quest and have the vault door stay open indefinitely. Enter the vault and don't talk to anyone - ignoring Officer Gomez, Amata and the Overseer isn't critical but there's no real point in talking to anyone else (except perhaps Butch, to get the optional "Sabotage Vault 101" subquest on your Pip-Boy, but it isn't necessary). Head to the reactor area and purge the water chip. This will cause the vault to evacuate. Wait about 2-3 minutes realtime (waiting should work?) and then go through the Overseer's tunnel. (If you can't avoid the Overseer here, lie to them.) Leave the vault when it says the quest is completed (when the vault door would normally close). The door will remain open forever, and the vault will be empty of people.
    • You cannot shut the vault door using this method. Method confirmed on Xbox 360.
    • If you avoid the Overseer when leaving they may remain in the vault, alive and with no dialogue options.
    • If you kill the Overseer and then kill Amata when she tells you to leave then the vault door will stay open indefinetly


  • WARNING: You will not be able to regroup with any companion should you choose to have them wait inside the vault after you have left for good, barring the use of mods or console commands. Your companion will stay inside, and you will never be able to get them out since entry to the vault will be forbidden. Make sure you leave no one inside.
  • Having a companion with you on entry into the vault may lead to no peaceful settlement with the Overseer as your companion will attack him on sight. With all the problems they might cause, it might just be easiest to make them stay outside.
  • After getting inside the vault, the first thing you will see is the corpse of Jim Wilkins.
  • This is the last time you will be able to grab the Bobblehead - Medicine from your father's office in the Clinic if you missed it before. Also, be sure to open the (Average) locked safe behind the framed Bible quote in the same room, as it contains a Schematic for the Rock-It Launcher and the Home Sweet Home voice recording from your father.
  • Regardless of whether you chose to side with Amata and convinced the Overseer to step down or if you convinced the rebels to stay in Vault 101 (which would logically preclude his appearance elsewhere), Butch gets out and you get to recruit him if you have neutral Karma. To find him, go to The Muddy Rudder bar in Rivet City and talk to him. He comes with a 10mm Pistol and a special switchblade called Butch's Toothpick.
  • Three Dog will make a note of you completing this quest on the radio.
  • If you have activated the purifier, then you might be able to start this quest.
  • If you missed the chance to start the quest and the Distress signal is gone, type in the console setstage 00014EA3 10. This will initiate the quest and follow as normal.
  • Killing the Overseer will leave a finger on his corpse and will result in no karma loss (the latter holds true for Andy as well).
  • If you do not kill Officer Wilkins after he becomes hostile, he will try to find you throughout the Vault. If any Vault citizens see him as a hostile against you, they will also join in the fight to kill you.


  • If you enter the Operation Anchorage simulation when the signal was available but not activated the quest, the signal will disappear upon exiting the simulation preventing you from ever starting the quest. The same thing happens upon going to and returning from Point Lookout. This could be because when you travel to the pit the signal is to far away for your pipboy to pick up and when you return to the capital wasteland your in range of the signal again.
  • If you choose to end the vault troubles by sabotaging the vault, the vault door will remain open, allowing you to come and go as you please. If you inspect the vault for any present dwellers, you will notice that Beatrice Armstrong is no longer present at the surgery table (but Andy is still present), and Mr. Brotch is no longer held up in the jail cell (if you decided not to free him in the quest). The jail cell door remains locked. (Confirmed on Xbox 360)
  • For Broken Steel and Point lookout, if you activate the purifier and then travel to Point Lookout, the signal will disappear and no longer be available (confirmed PC, Xbox 360). This information is incorrect. Traveling to and returning from the Pitt will allow you to start the quest. Even after installing Broken Steel, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta add-ons and after activating the purifier. (confirmed XBox 360 and PS3)
  • When attempting to reason with the Overseer and convince him to step down, he refers to the player as a "young man", regardless of the Lone Wanderer's actual gender (confirmed Xbox 360).

Fallout reference

Portions of Amata's speech to the Lone Wanderer when he or she leaves are strikingly similar to the speech given to the Vault Dweller at the end of Fallout, even the number of ellipses used in each (bold quotes specifically).

Vault 13 Overseer's Speech w/ the Vault Dweller:

You've done it! That's . . . wonderful. Amazing! I'm so proud of what you've accomplished, what you've endured.

There's no way the people of the Vault can ever thank you enough for what you've done. You've saved all our lives. Who knows, maybe even saved the human race. [The Overseer sighs.] That makes the rest of this even harder.

Everyone will want to talk to you. Every youngster will look up to you, and want to emulate you. And then what?

They'll want to leave. What happens to the Vault if we lose the best of a generation? What if we are the only safe place in the world? You just gave us back all these lives . . . I can't take the chance of losing them.

I've made a lot of tough decisions since I took this position. But none of them harder than this one. You saved us, but you'll kill us. I'm sorry. You're a hero . . . and you have to leave.

Amata's Speech w/ the Lone Wanderer:

Amata: I... I just heard. the Overseer... My father is dead. What's more, some of the people are saying I should be the new Overseer. It's all so sudden.

Lone Wanderer: That's the way these things go. Now do the right thing for your Vault.

Amata: Oh, I will, believe me. We can open up limited trade with nearby settlements and other areas, and see the world we've been missing.

But it's still important that I protect our Vault, and keep the people within it safe from the dangers of the Wasteland. Even when those dangers have helped us in the past. And that makes the rest of this even harder.

Lone Wanderer: I've got a bad feeling I know where this is going.

Amata: You saved us. But that doesn't change the fact that you killed one of us to do it, and I can't let that sort of thing stand here. I guess it's a bit familiar. You've already been forced out of the Vault once before. At least now you know what's out there.

I'm sorry. You're a hero... and you have to leave.

Quests in Fallout 3
Vault 101

This article uses material from the "Trouble on the Homefront" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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