|This page is about the soft drink. For the pre-War company, see Sunset Sarsaparilla Company.|
A Fresh Delight!”— The drink's slogan
Sunset Sarsaparilla was founded in 1918, making it 126 years older than the Nuka-Cola Corporation. According to Festus, a saloon owner one day decided to make a new type of soft drink. He asked his usual customers what flavor they would want it to be, but were no help. Then a stranger at the end of the bar suggested he make a sarsaparilla flavored drink, and would give his family's recipe to the saloon owner if he got to sample a bottle to make sure the recipe was being followed to the letter. The saloon owner agreed, thinking it would make him rich. The stranger then left to meet him the next day at sundown. The next day, the saloon owner was told by the sheriff that the stranger was killed by bandits on the side of the town road. Cursing his luck, the saloon owner closed his store early that day, just as the sun began to set. But after he locked the doors, he found a bottle with a note under it sealed with blue wax in the shape of a star. Opening it, he found out that it was a recipe of a sarsaparilla-flavored drink. After sampling the contents of the bottle, and finding it singularly delicious, began selling Sunset Sarsaparilla.
However, the star cap story is largely a promotional story, and between the lines it implies that it was in fact the saloon owner who shot and killed the stranger after getting the recipe from him. False rumors about a 'contest' involving specific Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle caps began to circulate around the bottling headquarters in Las Vegas, which in turn led to the announcement of the running "Legend of the Star" collection campaign. Stories of the contest became very distorted following the Great War, and the actual simple prize (which consisted of a retelling of the fictitious story by the company spokesbot and a small metal Sunset Sarsaparilla deputy badge) became a bloated tale of pre-War technology, weapons caches, and all sorts of other amazing loot.
Sunset Sarsaparilla is a root-beer-type carbonated beverage found around New Vegas. With its easy availability and low cost, Sunset Sarsaparilla is an excellent consumable that provides a high health regeneration effect. Thanks to these factors, it supplants the stimpak as a primary healing item in the Mojave.
The company's "Silly Ol' Advisory" Festus provides a comical list of potential side effects, which include "Kidney damage, nausea, digital numbness, anxiety, loss of visual acuity, dizziness, occasional nosebleeds, joint inflammation, tooth decay, sore throat, bronchitis, organ rupture and halitosis". In order for those effects to happen, Festus says you must drink "a helluva lot", however, you can have as many drinks as you want, and not suffer from those side effects in-game. Only while playing in hardcore mode does drinking Sunset Sarsaparilla have any negative effect - consumption produces mild dehydration.
With each bottle you drink, the bottle cap has a 5% chance of being a Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap which can be collected for the quest The Legend of the Star. Otherwise, as with Nuka-Cola, when you drink a Sunset Sarsaparilla, you get a normal bottle cap. Though oddly enough, the Pip-Boy icon and texture of said caps always depicts them as Nuka-Cola caps.
1 Sunset Sarsaparilla
- Goodsprings - sold by Trudy in the Prospector Saloon and found in multiple Sunset Sarsaparilla crates surrounding the Goodsprings general store and the Prospector Saloon. Also found within the Prospector Saloon in Sunset Sarsaparilla crates. Most of these will lower your karma if taken. Out in front of the gas station in Goodsprings, there is a Vending Machine with 3 to 4 Sunset Sarsaparillas inside. Taking these will not affect your karma.
- Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters - found in numerous vending machines and Sunset Sarsaparilla crates throughout the entire building.
- Boulder City - sold by Ike in the Big Horn Saloon. Also, found in Sunset Sarsaparilla crates and on shelves near and behind the bar.
- The in-game explanation to why there are no Sunset Sarsaparillas in Fallout 3 is that sales in the northeastern USA were virtually zero.
- Unlike Nuka-Cola, drinking Sunset Sarsaparilla will not give you Rads. The only exception to this rule are the irradiated Sarsaparilla bottles found in Camp Searchlight and The Courier's Mile.
- After completing the quest The Legend of the Star, any Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap that you obtain from drinking a bottle will be added to your inventory as normal bottle caps, and will not show up as a star bottle cap.
- The story Festus tells you about the origins of Sunset Sarsaparilla does not fit with the information he gives you. He tells you that before Sunset Sarsaparilla was invented, the main choices people had for drinking was water or Nuka-Cola. Nuka-Cola was founded in the year 2044, but according to the large bottle at the entrance of the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters, Sunset Sarsaparilla was founded in 1918, over 125 years before Nuka-Cola was. This may be due to the fact that Sunset Sarsaparilla was a family recipe before a corporately sold beverage, and was first made by the Stranger's family in 1918.
- As with Nuka-Cola, you do not keep the empty bottle after drinking it.
 Behind the scenes
- Sarsaparilla is a type of bitter root found in Central America which was originally used for medicinal purposes; owing to the root's bitterness, it was combined with sweetened water to make dosing more palatable. In America, the bark and oil of the sassafras tree was added to the formula; this "root beer" eventually became a popular drink in the late-19th-century Old West. The similarity of the two roots' names led to the informal nickname of "Sasparilly."
- The Healing buff the drink gives, depending on unknown circumstances, will never disappear and provide constant healing.