Heist of the Centuries

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Heist of the Centuries
Gold bars vault.jpg
That's a lot of gold.
Quest data
locationThe Vault, Sierra Madre Casino
given byFather Elijah
base idxx000fc1
Related quests
Last Luxuries
leads to:
Gametitle-FNV DM.png
Gametitle-FNV DM.png

Heist of the Centuries is a quest in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Dead Money.

Quick walkthrough[edit | edit source]

  1. Create the music sequence at the terminal in the lobby.
    1. (Optional) Have Christine say the password in her new voice.
  2. Enter the Sierra Madre vault and access the computer in the central chamber.
  3. Confront Elijah... or just sneak away.
  4. Escape the vault before your collar detonates.

Detailed walkthrough[edit | edit source]

A maze of hazards[edit | edit source]

To begin the quest, the speaker next to the elevator in Vera Keyes' suite must hear the password in Vera's voice. You can take the holotape of Vera's audition, go down to the front computer in the main lobby, collect all three music compositions, and return to the elevator in Vera Keyes' suite. Play the music into the speaker, and the elevator can now be taken to the lower level. Alternatively, if you have not killed Christine, she will say the password using her newly repaired vocal cords after recovering the music from the lobby computer.

From here, the Courier must navigate a maze of ducts and catwalks filled with security holograms, toxic clouds and many shielded speakers. In some situations, the Courier may have to trigger hologram monitors to clear a path. Once you pass through the two initial vault doors, on your right is a terminal next to another vault door. Enter the duct maze by using vault maintenance access terminal to open the maintenance access. There's a speaker nearby. Follow the passageway around to the first room. Entering the first chamber, the speaker is immediately in front of you. Halfway down the chamber you enter the range of another speaker. Jump down the broken walkway and then to the right to enter the shelter. There is a safe spot in front of the table in the enclosure with the worker's note complaining about safety and Sinclair's ignorance of the vault issues. There are two ammunition boxes next to the note on the shelf. Continue through the passageway to your left.

Follow the passageway around and into another shelter area. In the next room are four speakers, two of them unshielded. Turn right as you enter the room and run to a safe spot in the corner. Directly behind you above the door you came through is an unshielded speaker. Slightly to the right and up high above a doorway is the second unshielded speaker. Destroy both of the unshielded speakers. A third, shielded speaker is high on the wall just a bit further along the catwalk. If you holster your gun you'll have barely enough time to run down the left side of the upper walkway and reaching the terminal to override the alarms. Continue through the corridor.

Holograms[edit | edit source]

The next room adds security holograms to the gauntlet. The hologram control computer is in a workers' hut to the left of the entrance to this area across a walkway with a gap in it. There are three hologram emitters in this room; although they require a Repair skill of 100 to disable, you can instead shoot them. The first is on top of the enclosed structure to the left (when entering the room). You can push a barrel onto the catwalk to the left, jumping on it and jumping in the air while on the barrel will allow you to shoot the emitter on the roof of the first structure (oddly enough, after you move said barrel, it will disappear and become visible again after you touch it and will repeat in this way). Alternatively this can be achieved by exiting the room towards the gap in the walkway you came from, hopping onto the rail and attempting a jump shot into the emitter, this will make the holograms hostile so run. You can also try throwing an explosive. The second is on top of the metal beam almost directly on top of the door with the force field. You will need to run along a beam and jump up onto the roof of the structure in the southeast corner of the map to reach these. The third is on the ceiling (not the roof like the first, but inside) of the control structure in the northeast corner of the map.

After the emitters have been shut down, drop down to the lower catwalk in the poison gas and grab the Vault Turret Terminal Password tape. Activate the vault security turret terminal password as this shuts down the last set of force fields and speakers. After entering the hall past the force fields, there is the Vault Security terminal which can be used to shut down the remaining security.

Finding the treasure[edit | edit source]

Immediately before entering the vault is a toolbox and next to it, a holotape containing a venomous message to Vera Keyes. A skeleton - "The Founder" Sinclair - lies on a pipe beneath it and the duffle bag next to it contains a copy of Nikola Tesla and You.

Inside the vault itself is an assortment of weapons, armor, chems, money, chips... and the fabled Treasure of the Sierra Madre: 37 gold bars worth 10,539 caps apiece, for a total of 389,943 caps and the single greatest collection of wealth in the Mojave Wasteland - each of which weighs 35 pounds, for a total of 1,295 pounds. There are also over 2000 .357 magnum rounds inside a gun cabinet (not a fixed number, it's dependent on Luck and whether the player has Scrounger), as well as some Sierra Madre armor, reinforced.

However, the vault door seals within seconds of entrance. Lift the lockdown using the left security terminal, then use the monitor in the back to look up the word 'Vera'. This reveals that Sinclair in fact designed the Sierra Madre Vault not to protect valuables, but a small number of people as per a Vault-Tec Vault through the Great War: namely himself and Vera. Learning that Dean Domino planned to rob the Sierra Madre with Vera's help changed these plans. Sinclair left a warning for Vera, and a trap for Domino: a file marked "Sinclair's Personal Accounts", the reading of which activates a system which permanently seals the vault.

Premature ending[edit | edit source]

If the player chooses to access Sinclair's personal accounts, the game will end in with a slideshow cutscene, stating how the Courier became trapped in the casino vault, eventually dying inside. The game will then load the autosave created before accessing the terminal inside the vault.

After the Courier reads the Vera entries (and without reading the personal accounts closes the terminal), Elijah will make contact. Skills of 75+ in Science, Repair, Sneak, Explosives, Barter or Lockpick can be used to persuade Elijah to enter the vault to confront the Courier personally. If your reputation with the NCR is low enough, you can ally with Elijah during this conversation. He regrets putting the collar on a potential ally, and comes down to the vault. But the end slideshow starts early, detailing how you and Elijah conquer the Mojave with an army of holograms and generate a second Cloud over Hoover Dam, ensuring nobody gets the power. Unfortunately this results in another nonstandard game over.

Confronting Elijah[edit | edit source]

After leaving the vault control terminal, Father Elijah will contact you on a green screen behind the terminal and you're given the opportunity to further question Elijah's methods and motives. When the topic of Elijah coming down to the vault arises, the following dialog options and skill checks (75+) are available:

  • "Unless you come down here, I'll destroy the vault, everything in it." - followed by choice of Explosives, Science, or Repair skill checks.
  • "I'm not interested in the vault, I only want to leave." - followed by choice of Speech or Barter skill checks.
  • "Then I'll find a way to unlock the secrets of this vault, take them for myself." - followed by choice of Lockpick or Sneak skill checks.
  • "If you want me to wait, I'll cooperate. The Sierra Madre doesn't matter to me." He appreciates the cooperation and prompts the Courier to leave the vault and wait where he can see you. Stand at the forcefield barrier nearest the elevator and he accuses you of attempting to steal vault contents, or remain out of sight and he belittles your cowardice first. Elijah activates the Security turrets, and once you initiate combat, a fight to the death ensues.

With any of the first three options, (he's persuaded or coerced into approaching the vault), he will arrive via the elevator, deactivate the force fields and walk directly to the vault door. You have two options: confront Elijah and kill him, or sneak away from the vault and make your escape to the elevator. It is also possible, although very difficult, to sneak through the door Elijah comes in through.

Hacking the security terminal (Science 100) in the vault will cause the turrets outside to turn on Elijah and if they kill him, the player will not receive the Cash Out achievement/trophy. Destroying the turret generator (Melee or Unarmed 50) next to the terminal will disable the security turrets and cause Elijah to become hostile when he gets to the vault door.

Elijah is immune to damage as he approaches the vault, up until combat is initiated and he reactivates the force field barriers blocking access to the elevator. He becomes instantly aware if the Courier steps near either of the two force field barriers nearest the elevator, even if the Courier is [HIDDEN], has 100 Sneak, and is using a Stealth Boy. Also, Elijah can pass through the force field even if it is active, before or during the fight.

Escaping the vault[edit | edit source]

In order to sneak past Elijah and seal him in the vault, resulting in the Safety Deposit Box achievement, simply leave the vault when Elijah comes down and remain Hidden outside the blue force field barriers. If you remain within the confines of the turret room barriers, whether Hidden or not, Elijah eventually activates security, turning the turrets on and sealing you in while you fight. There are three paths you can take to accomplish this.

  • The first is seemingly impossible. The stairs that lead directly to the elevator and is the path Elijah will use to reach the vault.
  • If you are not over-encumbered (having stolen a minimal amount of gold), you can simply retrace your steps back through the maze of walkways to the elevator (the way you came in). You should be able to get well past the blue energy barrier before he turns it on. However, if you try to do this with the gold in tow, your collar will explode before you reach the elevator and escape. If you plan to use this route, be sure to disable the holograms when you pass through the first time, so they don't get in your way during the escape (you only have a minute or so). Eventually, Elijah will access the vault's exterior terminal, triggering the trap Sinclair had meant for Dean and sealing himself in.
  • A third and simpler route (and the only way to trap Elijah if you're stealing the gold), is to act fast when you leave the dialog with him. The structure with the elevator door has two walkways leading to it, one which will be used by Elijah when he enters the room, and another that leads through a small enclosure before the elevator room. If you can make it into this enclosure before Elijah reaches the stairs (and sees you), you can then walk briskly (because you can't run) across the short walkway into the elevator room just before the barriers turn on. This was successfully tested repeatedly with all 1295 pounds of gold in the inventory.
  • It's also possible to go up the stairway Elijah enters from, as the timing is more important than the location. When Elijah approaches the terminal outside the vault, there is a brief window to pass through the door before the scripted lockdown takes place. If the player approaches the door too early, he'll activate it automatically. Too late, and the force fields will seal the room.

Once Elijah is killed, or he realizes he's been tricked, the entire vault level begins to self destruct and your explosive collar is activated; it will detonate within a minute unless the Courier boards the elevator to the surface.

From here, stopping even for a second can prove to be deadly; you will have to be quick-witted and be able to assess the quickest possible route to ensure survival. Reach the elevator in time, and the Courier appears at the fountain in the Villa. The Courier can then revisit any location in the Sierra Madre. The explosive collar will have been automatically removed upon arrival in the Villa, which makes navigating the outlying areas much, much easier and allows exploration of previously unavailable locations.

Once the Courier exits the front gates of the villa, a slide show plays detailing the fates of their three fellow captives, ending with the Courier deposited at the abandoned Brotherhood of Steel bunker, unable to return to the Sierra Madre (except if you use PC console commands, finding a steel "Door to Villa"). The radio plays a last broadcast from Vera Keyes, bidding you farewell and reflecting on the real meaning Sinclair intended for the Sierra Madre casino. Your original equipment will be returned as you walk up the stairs to leave the abandoned Brotherhood of Steel bunker.

Quest stages[edit | edit source]

1 Thread Vera's music sequence together at the receptionist terminal in the lobby.
2 (Optional) Have Christine say the password in Vera's voice.
3 Gain access to the Sierra Madre Vault.
4 Discover the secrets of the Sierra Madre at the Vault's central chamber.
5 Defeat Elijah
6 (Optional) Sneak out of the Vault's chamber area undetected, trapping Elijah when he opens the vault.
7Quest finishedEscape the Sierra Madre Vault before your collar explodes.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • If the player chooses to read Sinclair's personal accounts, he/she will find a letter to Dean Domino. At the end of the letter it says, "...and I will raise my glass and say 'Fortunato.'" This is a reference to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado", in which the protagonist Montresor lures his victim, Fortunato, to an underground crypt in his family catacombs, where he chains him to a wall and seals him up alive in an alcove. This is similar to how Sinclair was supposed to have trapped Dean Domino in his own grave at the bottom of the Sierra Madre. It is signed "in pace requiescat," Latin for "may he rest in peace," the phrase with which Poe's story ends.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png When trying to return to the Mojave Wasteland, the game can freeze on a black screen forcing you to reset your Xbox 360.
    • By changing from Hardcore mode to Normal mode, slideshow will come up as normal, and you will be returned to the Abandoned BoS bunker. This will cause you to lose the achievement / trophy for completing the game on Hardcore. This is with TU4 installed. (unconfirmed)
    • A possible fix to the above bug (on hardcore mode) is making sure as you're leaving to satisfy the couriers hunger, thirst, sleep deprivation, and radiation. (confirmed)
    • On player, before trying to leave back to the Mojave, go to the console and type tcl to turn clipping off, then use the gate. When the slideshow appears, there will be no narration. Go back into the console and again, type tcl to turn clipping back on. The narration should now play and will put you back in the BoS Bunker.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png There is a glitch where dying after speaking to Elijah but before reaching the elevator can cause you to reload an autosave in front of the vault monitor, but the second it loads you die. This causes a reload of the same autosave, which creates an infinite loop of dying and reloading. Saving before speaking to Elijah should fix the problem.
  • PCIcon pc.png Sometimes, if you disable the turrets before Elijah comes into the vault, he remains behind the force field, and you cannot kill him, thus preventing the add-on's completion. Regarding the above bug (dropping gold by the door, destroying turrets to bring Elijah into the vault and falling through the force field), he may remain behind the force field and shoot at you with his Gauss rifle, which still injures the player. You cannot damage him through the field.
  • PCIcon pc.png There is a bug where if you sneak past Elijah and get to the elevator safely through the ducts, the game will crash to the desktop, losing your achievement. To fix this, you must restart the game, and load your last save.
  • PCIcon pc.png After killing Elijah, the elevator may take you to Vera's suite, rather than the Villa's Fountain. If this happens the quest will not advance as it should. At this point if you try to re-enter the vault, or leave the casino your collar will explode. However, if you use the console commands tgm and unlock on the casino's doors, you will be taken to the fountain. Head to the Mojave Wasteland gate, and change your view to third person. Then, open the console and type showinventory, then select the player. If you now cannot see the collar id on the console, drop items until it is visible. Remove the collar using player.removeitem X # (X=item id #=amount of item). With the collar removed, pick up your gear and use unlock to open the Wasteland gate. This will allow the ending slides to play, and you will be taken back to The Abandoned BoS bunker. When back to the bunker, you can unlock Elijah's terminal, Elijah's footlocker, and the footlocker beside the ladder with the unlock command. Console commands can be used to complete the quest afterwards. You will then be able to continue the game, still gaining the perks and items you would have if this bug had not occurred.
  • PCIcon pc.png Sometimes after you kill Elijah the force fields will remain up, trapping the Courier in the vault until the explosive collar detonates.
  • PCIcon pc.png After killing Elijah the quest marker will not update. The marker would point to his body even after it said to escape. Prior to removing the collar with commands and leaving the Madre, approaching the exit would play Elijah's warning about leaving without doing what you were told. After playing the slideshow and arriving back in the bunker, the marker for the quest remained pointing towards the room with the speaker playing the broadcast.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png If you are over-encumbered upon using the terminal in the back of the vault, speaking with Father Elijah will cause the dialogue to auto-skip. This bug continues to occur even if you reload from the terminal auto-save, and are not over-encumbered.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png There is a bug when opening the computer in the Vault, after completing the mission and the slide show you will be locked in the Vault, unable to get out.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png The maintenance door is still locked and closed, even if opened (as if there is an invisible wall present), effectively trapping the player until their collar blows up. The best thing to do is wait it out for a few moments and it will then let you walk through it.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Another workable variant of the above bug- purchase demolition charges from the Vending Machine inside the Vault (15 should do the trick). Hurry out and meet Elijah before he exits onto the walkway. Then crouch on the top step next to the force field and toss all the Demo Charges onto the stairs you just came up. You WILL have to endure turret fire while you do this. Then proceed as noted; press against the force field as you destroy turrets, eventually falling in as Father Elijah runs out. Elijah hits the charges, you are protected by the force field, Elijah dies and you exit with plenty of time to spare.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png If you save near the toolbox outside of the Vault and die, you will respawn and immediately go into a death loop. Your character will appear to die from falling damage despite respawning on the gantry. Furthermore, this death loop occurs for any Sierra Madre save game. To break this cycle, it is necessary to load a Mojave-based save game, or exit the game completely, restart, and reload.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png During the ending slide show, the narrator will repeat, "We've all heard the story of the Sierra Madre" at least two times times before continuing on through the scripted sequence explaining the fate of your comrades.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png When Elijah comes to meet you in the vault, if you equip a Stealth Boy and sneak, unseen, into the shield of the doorway that Elijah stands behind you will be thrown through the shield to the other side of the doorway and Elijah will appear on the vault side of the doorway. The elevator will be locked and require a key until Elijah is dead. But if you find a way to kill him from that side of the door(you can use mines or plastic explosives) the Elevator will become unlocked. This allows you to escape with all of the treasures of the Sierra Madre.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png If you stand close enough to the force field where Elijah enters, you can get him to glitch you through the force field. It is also possible to glitch through the force field with all of the gold bars too. The only problem is that you have to kill father Elijah and since he cannot walk through the force field you cannot complete the quest and take the elevator back up to the hotel.(Unconfirmed)You might be able to kill Elijah with the use of land mines near the force field or if you can lure him to the force field you can shoot him through it.
Main quests
Act 1Ain't That a Kick in the Head · Back in the Saddle · By a Campfire on the Trail · They Went That-a-Way · Ring-a-Ding-Ding!
Act 2Wild Card (Wild Card: Ace in the Hole, Change in Management, You and What Army?, Side Bets, Finishing Touches) · The House Always Wins (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII) · Render Unto Caesar · Et Tumor, Brute? · Things That Go Boom · Kings' Gambit · For the Republic, Part 2 · You'll Know It When It Happens/Arizona Killer
Act 3No Gods, No Masters · All or Nothing · Veni, Vidi, Vici · Eureka!
Side quests
New California RepublicAnywhere I Wander · Back in Your Own Backyard · Bitter Springs Infirmary Blues · Boulder City Showdown · Can You Find It in Your Heart? · Climb Ev'ry Mountain · Don't Tread on the Bear! · Emergency Radio · Eye for an Eye · Flags of Our Foul-Ups · Hard Luck Blues · I Don't Hurt Anymore · I Put a Spell on You · Keep Your Eyes on the Prize · Medical Mystery · No, Not Much · Pressing Matters · Restoring Hope · Return to Sender · That Lucky Old Sun · The White Wash · There Stands the Grass · Three-Card Bounty · We Will All Go Together · You Can Depend on Me
Caesar's LegionBeware the Wrath of Caesar! · Caesar's Favor · Caesar's Foe · Caesar's Hire · Cold, Cold Heart · I Hear You Knocking · The Finger of Suspicion · We Are Legion
The StripBeyond the Beef · Bye Bye Love · Classic Inspiration · How Little We Know · Pheeble Will · Talent Pool · The House Has Gone Bust! · The Moon Comes Over the Tower
Freeside & Outer VegasBirds of a Feather · Bleed Me Dry · Debt Collector · G.I. Blues · High Times · Someone To Watch Over Me · The Coyotes · Wang Dang Atomic Tango
BoomersAnt Misbehavin' · Sunshine Boogie · Volare! · Young Hearts
Great KhansAba Daba Honeymoon · Cry Me a River · Don't Make a Beggar of Me · Oh My Papa
Powder GangBooted · I Fought the Law · Run Goodsprings Run · Why Can't We Be Friends?
Brotherhood of SteelEyesight to the Blind · Still in the Dark · Tend to Your Business
OtherCome Fly With Me · Crazy, Crazy, Crazy · Ghost Town Gunfight · Guess Who I Saw Today · Left My Heart · My Kind of Town · The Legend of the Star and A Valuable Lesson · Unfriendly Persuasion · Wheel of Fortune
Companion questsED-E My Love · For Auld Lang Syne · Heartache by the Number · I Could Make You Care · I Forgot to Remember to Forget · Nothin' But a Hound Dog · One For My Baby
Unmarked questsA Bit of Slap and Tickle · Access Powers · All Fired Up! · Andy and Charlie · Arachnophobia · Arizona Scavenger · Barton the Fink · Bear Necessities · Big Winner (Atomic Wrangler, The Gomorrah, The Tops, Ultra-Luxe, Vikki & Vance) · Bounty Killer (I, II) · Brotherhood Bond (I, II) · Caching in at the Cove · Cajoling a Cudgel · Claws Mended · Claws Out · Dealing with Contreras · Defacing the Humble Stone · Democracy Inaction · Don't Poke at the Bear · Eddie's Emissary · Exhumin' Nature · Flogging a Dead Corpse · Friend of the Followers · Getting a Leg Up from Andy · Gland for Some Home Cooking · Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger · Hat's Entertainment · Help for Halford · Hidden Valley computer virus · Highway to the Danger Zone (I, II) · Honorary Rocketeer · I Love Bananas · Iron and Stealing · Keith's Caravan Charade · Laurifer Gladiator · Lenk's Bad Debts · Lily and Leo · Long-Term Care · Malleable Mini Boomer Minds · Maud's Muggers · Meeting an Equal · Missing a Few Missiles · Not Worth a Hill of Corn and Beans · Of Boomers and Education · Old School Ghoul · A Pair of Dead Desperados (I, II) · Papers, Please · Pistol Packing · Playing on the Old Joana · Poor Meat Never Makes Good Soup · Powder to the People · Power to the People · Proper Burial · Razzle Dazzle! · Reach for the Sky, Mister! · Rest and Resupply · Ringo's Caravan Rules · Rotface's Loose Lips · The Screams of Brahmin · Silus Treatment · Short-Term Treatment · Smooth-Talking Criminal · Strategic Nuclear Moose · Straus Calls · Strip Search · Saving (or Savaging) Sergeant Teddy · Stocking Up · Suits You, Sarah · A Team of Moronic Mercenaries · Team Spirit · The Thorn Mayhem · Thought for the Day · Tourist Traipse · Trudy's Radio Repair · A Trusted Aide · Useless Baubles or Fancy Trinkets? · We Must Stop Beating Like This · We Must Stop Meeting Like This (I, II, III, IV) · Wind-Brahmin Wrangler · You Gotta Break Out a Few Eggs · You Make Me Feel Like a Woman
Cut contentIcon cut.png Cut questsAuto-Inject Quest · Bright and Shiny · Chip Provenance · Debug Topics · Jailhouse Rock · Meat of Champions (quest) · TempMan · The Thorn Mayhem · Underpass Water Purifier · Viva Las Vegas! · Welcome to Fabulous New Vegas
Add-on quests
Dead MoneySierra Madre Grand Opening! · Find Collars (8: "Dog", 12: Christine, 14: Dean Domino) · Fires in the Sky · Strike Up the Band · Mixed Signals · Trigger the Gala Event · Put the Beast Down · Last Luxuries · Curtain Call at the Tampico · Heist of the Centuries · Big Winner, Sierra Madre
Honest HeartsA Family Affair · Arrival at Zion · Bighorners of the Eastern Virgin · Chaos in Zion · Civilized Man's Burden · Crush the White Legs · Deliverer of Sorrows  · Departing Paradise · Flight from Zion · Gathering Storms · Gone Fishin' · Happy Trails Expedition · Prisoners of War · Retake the Bridge · River Monsters · Rite of Passage · Roadside Attraction · Sanctity of the Dead · The Advance Scouts  · The Treacherous Road · The Grand Staircase · Tourist Trap
Old World BluesAll My Friends Have Off Switches · A Brain's Best Friend · Coming Out of Her Shell · Field Research · He Came... And Went · Influencing people · Midnight Science Fiction Feature! · Old World Blues · On The Same Wavelength · Picking Your Brains · Project X-13 · Sonic Emitter Upgrade · Welcome to the Big Empty · What's In A Name? · When Visitors Attack · X-2: Strange Transmissions! · X-8 Data Retrieval Test · X-8: High School Horror! · X-13: Attack of the Infiltrator!
Lonesome RoadThe Reunion · The Silo · The Job · The Launch · The Tunnelers · The Divide · The Courier · The End · The Apocalypse