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The tasks for launching a nuke break down into three main parts: Get the Nuclear Silo Code Fragments, Gain Access to the Silos, and Reach the Control Room.
Getting Silo Code Pieces
You won’t be able to find an entire intact launch code for nukes – instead, you’ll have to put together Code Pieces for the Silos at Site Alpha, Site Bravo, and Site Charlie. Of all the steps, this is the easiest, but can still take time due to the random nature of getting these Code Pieces.
The only things that carry these codes are unique enemy officers, either Scorched Officers or Feral Ghoul Officers – former members of the military who were entrusted with pieces of various nuclear launch codes.
- Officers carry a large radio backpack with a tall antennae on the back.
- The antennae will constantly flash a red light on and off.
- An Officer’s backpack will continually emit a pinging noise much like a radar or sonar beacon.
- Site Alpha: Located in the center of the Savage Divide, off to the southeast from the Top of the World and north of the National Isolated Radio Array, at a nondescript shack at the edge of a small pond.
- Site Bravo: At the base of the cliffs of the Savage Divide and the Toxic Valley, northeast of the Grafton Dam and south of the Palace of the Winding Path, in a small shack. past a military gate.
- Site Charlie: Hidden in the R and G Processing Services site in the southern edge of the Savage Divide where the railroad lines intersect, between Bastion Park and the Spruce Knob.
Each site’s entrance (except the R and G Processing Services location) is oddly unguarded, as they are well hidden – however, the elevator leading into the silo is locked by a unique handprint signature device.
Each silo has its own eight-digit launch code, and the code pieces you find can be from any of the three silos. To make things worse, the codes are only valid for a single week – then they get destroyed to prevent hoarding. Thankfully it appears that you can share codes among your group – and you’ll likely need a group for the other parts.
Gaining Access to the Silos
Even with all eight nuclear launch code fragments, you’ll still be denied access to the elevator down to the silo. Only high ranking military generals have the clearance for such a feat – but there is one faction in Appalachia with the connections to get you that rank.
You’ll need to join the shadowy organization known as The Enclave to do this – starting with a trip to a secret bunker in The Mire housed in the Abandoned Waste Dump, and guarded by two level 20 Deathclaws. Solve the puzzles within and you’ll get access to the Enclave’s HQ – but further tests will be required to prove your worth.
After you officially join the faction, you’ll be told that the Enclave has limited access to the military commendation system. Once you enlist in the military (which you can do by taking a basic training course at Camp McClintock), you’ll be able to increase your standing by performing tasks for the Enclave until you become a General – and gain access to Silos Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie. You can also grab a Nuclear Launch Keycard from the restricted military wing in the Enclave.
Decrypting the Code
It is important to note that the nuclear code fragments you get are encrypted – you won’t know the order of the numbers to input when the time comes, and the decrypters are all dead – meaning you and your team will have to figure out the puzzle.
The Enclave has a few clues though, as their surveillance room will be slowly trying to decrypt the week’s codes above a row of printers for each of the silos. You can try waiting later in the week to get more of the solution figured out, or try and solve it yourself.
When you figure out what the keyword is, you must decipher the letters you received using the keyword to form a new 8-letter word. If this sounds like a lot of mental gymnastics, you may want to use a cipher tool online, and then run the resulting letters through a word scramble or anagram search to find something that sounds plausible.
Reaching the Control Room
The hardest part comes upon actually entering the nuclear silos. Automated defenses stand by to thwart you at every turn, making teamwork a must, as robots ranging from level 20 turrets and Assaultrons to level 50 Mr. Gutsies and Sentry Bots that will try and stop you.
Expect heavy resistance, and prepare yourself by making sure your whole group has plenty of weapons, chems, and food to survive – as crafting stations are in short supply.
Players will need to first find a way to get past the initial laser grid by finding Biometric ID cards and forging new ones. Then, you will need to cross through the heavily irradiated reactor room – which will go into a security lockdown and require repairs and a reboot (while fending off endless robots) before you can pass to the next area.
Next, you’ll have to gain access to the next area by ripping out mainframe cores across several computers, while destroying even more bots sent to defend the mainframe. After that, you’ll have to take out Sentry Bots while finding a way to open another security door by restoring its mainframe cores.
Crossing to the next area will pit you against the Launch Commander bot and its elite forces, before finally fighting your way to the control room.
Once at the control panel, you’ll need to initiate launch prep by finding the right terminal. This begins a new event in of itself as you must supervise automated launch crew chief robots, and protect them from being destroyed. You’ll also need to begin missile reconstruction while defending the control chiefs – and replace any you lose in the attack. and If you are successful, you can begin final authorization.
All that’s left is to enter your nuclear launch keycard, and then decrypt your launch codes from the fragments you’ve gathered.
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