El Dorado substation

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El Dorado substation
El Dorado SS.jpg
Icon settlement large.png
El Dorado Substation loc.jpg
Map MarkerEl Dorado Substation
FactionsNew California Republic
QuestsWild Card: Finishing Touch
The House Always Wins
Cell NameElDoradoSubstation (Exterior)
EDSubstation (Interior)
ref id000ddf40 (Exterior)
000e8202 (Interior)

My folks back home have lights at night thanks to what we're doing here.

NCR trooper, Fallout: New Vegas

The El Dorado substation is a power sub-station near Helios One, occupied by the New California Republic. Located south-west of Vault 11, north-west of El Dorado Dry Lake and to the north of Helios One.

Background[edit | edit source]

The El Dorado substation is a crucial element of the Mojave's infrastructure, as it is the central routing station for all power that comes from Hoover Dam and Helios One.[1] Connected to a vast network of underground power transmission cables, it is the place where all the energy produced by the dam passes through. Whomever controls El Dorado, controls the power. Who controls the power, controls the Mojave.

Layout[edit | edit source]

The location consists of a single building and a large array of transformers. The building itself is a tall concrete structure with a garage door entrance and a barricaded side door. In front of the building, on its east side is a Dumpster and several feet from the north side's outer wall is a collapsed power line frame. There are eight NCR troopers guarding the area, some of which may be sleeping in the building.

As you approach the building you are told by a guard not to enter the building or fenced-in area. If they catch you doing either, they will shoot on sight.

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

Notable loot[edit | edit source]

Related quests[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The friendly trooper, once triggered to approach you, will chase you until she can deliver the message, even all the way to the gates of Freeside.
  • The soldiers and the sergeant respawn if killed.
  • No matter your reputation with the NCR, the troopers will not allow you to enter either restricted area.
  • Using the Override Chip, even if you do it without getting caught, will result in NCR infamy, albeit a trivial amount that won't change your standing on its own.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • Once the substation was turned on, a further quest stage was intended to kick in where the player would follow a Securitron to a nearby mountain ridge and watch the lights turn on at the Lucky 38. It's not clear why this sequence was cut (possibly due to lack of time, possibly as the actual graphical effect of the Lucky 38 is quite feeble compared to the script description: "the tower of the Lucky 38 lights up brilliantly in the distance" ), as full dialogue was recorded. Unused dialogue from Yes Man says turning on the reactor makes the Lucky 38 (and the Strip itself!) independent from Hoover Dam, and the reason to conquer that area would then be mere dominance of the region and to sell the unneeded electricity back to the NCR.
  • One thing that is peculiar with the sequence above is that Victor's dialogue lines have the wrong options set. Yes Man's are set so that each line is said once, and the dialogue cascades down. In Victor's case none of the lines have say once checked, meaning the conversation will never progress past the first line, which would be repeated ad infinitum. Even stranger, his later lines are all randomised despite them clearly being designed to be said in a specific order.
  • The El Dorado terminal still has all the original power on functions in the terminal itself, but a script overrides this so the player cannot actually use the terminal proper and instead shows a button prompt. This is especially strange as the message used in the final game is a lot vaguer and frankly somewhat confusing compared to the original terminal message that makes it clear you've now re-routed power to the Lucky 38's reactor, instead of the strange "power the substation" message that is used instead. The message used also seems to be a repurposed message from the Lucky 38 Reactor itself from a stage (perhaps never implemented) when you could still access the reactor terminal and it used a button message/script to override the terminal on use. (The substation uses Lucky38ReactorActiveMsg when Lucky38ReactorInActiveMsg and Lucky38ReactorMsg all relate specifically to the actual L38 reactor).
  • Peculiarly a reference to this quest is also present in the quest vfreeformlucky38 (The Moon Comes Over the Tower). Stage 30 of that quest is inexplicably listed as "The Lucky 38 Reactor is being powered by the El Dorado substation", and points to an objective that no longer exists. VFreeformLucky38Note suggests originally the quest was perhaps planned as some kind of large scale reconnoitre of the Lucky 38 with the player possibly reporting back to the Followers on each aspect of the mysterious Lucky 38? It seems at some point the quests were separated, and then Moon Over Tower was cut to ribbons as well.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

El Dorado substation appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Upon Exiting the substation the door will say "Open Door to Crimson Caravans"
  • PCIcon pc.png Sometimes the soldiers may not spawn at all.


  1. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.397: "[5.03] El Dorado Substation
    Taking the incredible energy from HELIOS One [5.13] and converting it into usable electricity occurs here, at the substation and adjacent transformer yard, both of which are guarded by NCR Troops that give you strict instructions not to trespass on the property. Open the Garage Door to the Substation. A terminal allows access to power areas of the Mojave Wasteland based on your alliance needs, and at the expense of NCR friendliness."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
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