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Following in His Footsteps

I can't tell you why I left or where I'm going. I don't want you to follow me.James on note from dad holotape

Following in His Footsteps is the fifth main quest in Fallout 3.

Quick walkthrough

Main Quest: Following in His Footsteps
Investigate the town of Megaton.
Speak with Colin Moriarty about your dad.
Deal with Silver in Springvale.
Pay Moriarty 100 caps to give you information about your dad.
Get the information from Moriarty's terminal (−5 Karma).
Go to Galaxy News Radio.
Help the Brotherhood of Steel defeat the Super Mutants.
Speak with Three Dog about your dad.
Pass the Speech check.
Complete Galaxy News Radio.
Leads to: Scientific Pursuits

Detailed walkthrough

NOTE: Where it says optional, it means the player character can skip the parts before it, like going straight to Smith Casey's Garage will finish the quest and the player character will not have to go to Rivet City.

Megaton and '300 Pieces of Silver'

Objective: Investigate the nearby town of Megaton for information about James.

Main article: 300 Pieces of Silver

In Megaton, everyone will point the player character to the saloon owner, Colin Moriarty who will offer to tell you where your dad is if you give him 100 Caps. If one does not accept the offer, he will ask for 300 the next time one talks to him. You can also use Speech to convince Moriarty that your father told you about him or choose certain dialogue options to get him to give the Lone Wanderer a discount, provided they agree to kill Silver and bring back the caps she stole.

The player character can find Silver northwest of Megaton at Springvale, inside a ranch house. There are seven ways of dealing with her:

  1. She can simply be killed and obtain 400 caps along with her equipment with no Karma change unless anything is stolen from around the shack. She will attack straight away if the player character says that they are there for the caps.
  2. With a successful Speech attempt the player character can convince her to hand over 400 caps to tell Moriarty she is gone.
  3. She can be convinced to hand over 300 caps to tell Moriarty she is gone.
  4. The player character can ask for no money and tell him she is gone. This will result in positive Karma, though one will still have to come up with 100 or 300 caps.
  5. The player character can simply say she is gone without working out a deal with her, though again, one will still have to come up with the money on their own.
  6. With the Speech check one can make her give hand over 400 caps. She can then be killed to loot another 100 caps from her body. The player character will lose Karma if they kill her after she gives them the 400 caps though.
  7. One can ask for no money and tell him she is gone. This will result in positive Karma. The player character can then kill her for 400 caps along with her equipment. If done this way, there will be no Karma change.

If the player character chooses the bad Karma path to interact with Moriarty, they can steal the password to his terminal out of a cabinet next to it or pass a Speech check with Gob, who will tell the Lone Wanderer about Moriarty's terminal. Asking him about the terminal after the Speech check will result in him telling the player character that Nova has the password. One can try to pass a Speech check or use Lady Killer (male character) to seduce her into providing the password. Or one can simply kill Gob and loot the password off his body. Obtaining the information will lead the player character to Galaxy News Radio.

Galaxy News Radio

Head to the Super-Duper Mart and from there across the Potomac to Farragut West Metro station. A room with Mole Rats has a stairway leading downwards. Then climb more stairs to find a chain gate with Feral Ghouls behind it. Beyond that will be yet another stairway and a door to Tenleytown/Friendship station. If the tunnels are followed south, they should exit in Chevy Chase.

One can also enter Tenleytown/Friendship station from Friendship Heights.

Super mutant behemoth fight

Near the exit to Chevy Chase North the PC will find Sentinel Sarah Lyons with a squad of Brotherhood of Steel soldiers from Lyons' Pride. If talked to, Sarah will allow the PC to accompany her squad to the GNR building plaza, clearing out the super mutants in the nearby Early Dawn Elementary School in the process. The PC may then aid the Pride in an assault on the Super Mutants, Super Mutant Brutes, and super mutant masters attacking the Galaxy News Radio building. Once the other mutants are dead, a Super Mutant Behemoth is unleashed from behind a destroyed bus, which the PC may help destroy. A Fat Man nuclear launcher off the dead body of the Brotherhood soldier in the central fountain (there is a map marker pointing to it) will heavily damage the behemoth.

The aftermath of the battle in the early morning.

Depending on how fast one takes the behemoth down and who dies in the process, the conversation with the remaining soldiers goes differently. Use the intercom to the right of the door to get inside the GNR Building. Once inside, talk to Three Dog. One has two options at this point. If the player character has a high enough Speech, they can convince him that after they have rescued their father he will help the cause. Doing this will give the player character the Scientific Pursuits quest for free. However, if one has insufficient Speech, he will give the player character the Galaxy News Radio quest, which they will have to complete first in order to get Scientific Pursuits.

If the Speech check was successful, talking to Three Dog again will result in him offering to exchange the location of a large cache of military munitions in return for the Galaxy News Radio quest. This allows the player character to explore the quest for greater returns.

The Search Continues

Killing Three Dog without getting him to tell the player character to go to Rivet City ends the GNR quest and starts a new quest called The Search Continues. The objective is still to find Dad, who can still be found at Vault 112 and the Lone Wanderer can still talk to Dr. Li. This does not result in the achievement, however.

Skipping this quest

Note that this quest can be fast-tracked by skipping several steps:

If one ends up finding Vault 112 before visiting Three Dog at GNR building plaza, this entire quest will be marked as completed. If the player character makes it to the building, they will still encounter all of the super mutants (including the behemoth) with no Brotherhood of Steel soldiers in sight. (This will also happen if Li is spoken to or one has retrieved the Journals first.) The door to GNR will be locked but if the intercom is used after the mutants have all been killed, the Brotherhood of Steel soldiers stationed inside will let the player character in. One can then speak to Three Dog and get the achievement for Following in His Footsteps. Additionally, he will offer the Galaxy News Radio quest in exchange for the key and coordinates to Hamilton's Hideaway.

If one takes this quest as normal and chooses to find out about Dad on their own, e.g. from Doctor Li or from Vault 112, returning afterwards to place the satellite dish, Three Dog will remark on how the player character did not need to do as he asked. One will receive good Karma and the key to the weapons cache at Hamilton's Hideaway.

Quest stages

10 Investigate the nearby town of Megaton for information about Dad.
20 Speak to Colin Moriarty about Dad.
25 (Optional) Deal with Silver in Springvale.
30 Continue your search for Dad.
40 Find Galaxy News Radio.
60 Retrieve the Fat Man from the dead Brotherhood soldier.
65 Help defeat the Super Mutant Behemoth.
70Quest finishedAsk Three Dog about Dad.


  • When the player character first speaks with Moriarty about their father, one can naively insist that they knew nothing about the possibility of leaving the Vault until their father escaped, even though conversations with Old Lady Palmer during the Lone Wanderer's birthday party and with their father before taking the G.O.A.T. already confirm that the Lone Wanderer knew at least that their father was from the outside world. When the player character is finally allowed to use Speech to bluff Moriarty that they were joking with him, it is marked in the dialogue option as a lie.
  • If one uses the Fat Man, they may hear the surviving BoS soldiers commenting about it.
  • If the player character speaks to Dr. Li, enters the Jefferson Memorial, or rescues James before visiting Galaxy News Radio, the Lyons' Pride will not spawn in Chevy Chase. The BoS knights still guard the GNR building but the dead Brotherhood knight with the Fat Man will not spawn.
  • In his GNR broadcast, Three Dog will explicitly mention James' arrival at GNR before the player character has learned this from Moriarty. However, learning about this from the radio is not sufficient to advance that portion of the quest and will not mark Galaxy News Radio on the map.
  • After completing the quest, Three Dog will talk about meeting the Lone Wanderer in one of his broadcasts. He says, "James, if you're listening, your kid got out, man. He/she's looking for you. He/she misses you real bad."
  • The dead BoS soldier carries the most mini nukes in a single location in the game.
  • If the doors to the GNR building remain locked even after the behemoth is killed and the BoS soldier on the intercom says they are open, one can still gain entry without a Lockpick skill of 100 - On the west side of the building there is a balcony and next to it there's some rubble. One can climb up the rubble, get onto the balcony, and pick the lock on the door.


  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 There is an occasional glitch where the super mutant behemoth will not be triggered to appear. GNR will not open its doors, and the BoS soldiers will reach the fountain and then wander around the plaza aimlessly. If you speak to Sentinel Lyons, she will repeat her dialogue "You can tag along with us as far as GNR." A similar glitch occurs when, even after defeating the behemoth, the doors to GNR remain locked, even though the BoS soldiers enter it.
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 It is possible that, after entering GNR and leaving right away, the generic BoS paladins will become hostile and attack. If the player character kills any of them, the others (Lyons, Vargas, etc.,) will also attack and one will receive bad Karma.
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 If the player character does go directly to Vault 112, and finishes the Tranquility Lane quest they will not be rewarded the trophy for Following in his Footsteps or any quest that may follow this.
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 When battling one's way to the plaza, they will come across a small area with a pre-War playground. The first super mutant in this area may appear as non-hostile in V.A.T.S. and when pointed at, but the BoS soldiers will still shoot it down.