Fallout 3 Tip #3

I play Fallout 3 with no saved games, meaning when you die – the game ends. So, you focus on survival. One way to improve the odds is to get a tough companion early in the game. However, some of them have Karma tests that make them unavailable if you play as a heroic good-guy type. But, there is one character you can score early in the game who doesn’t care about your Karma rating and can kick mutant butt: Charon.

Charon is the big tough ghoul who you find in the 9th Circle bar in the Underworld section of the Museum of History. He is the complete servant of anyone who owns his contract. The club owner (behind the bar) has it now and will offer to either sell it to you or let you get it in exchange for performing an evil act that involves killing another Underworld resident. But, I am the good guy, so I offer to pay cash. Charon is not cheap (two grand, as I recall), but you can talk the price down if your speech skills are high enough.

Once you have Charon’s contract, he will follow you into Hell itself. His first act, however, is to kill his former owner for being so darn evil. Charon comes with leather armor, but can wear power armor.

One quest you can pick up in Underworld is to speak to Mr. Crowley and get the “You gotta shoot ’em in the head” quest. The prize at the end is a set of T-51B power armor. Put it on Charon and he is one tough ghoul. If it is early in the game, you can’t wear it anyway. It is somewhat late in the main quest before you get the required training to put that T-51B to use. Charon looks good in it in the meantime.

Best of all, you can complete the T-51B quest without performing any acts that generate bad karma. One person you kill is evil and generates positive karma in his demise. The other three encounters in the quest can be dealt with peacefully to gain the keys you need to finish the mission.

Needless to say, you don’t deliver the keys to Crowley (his request). You keep them, follow the clues you are given along the way to obtaining them, and score that lovely armor that makes your ghoul bodyguard a walking tank.

Charon carries a tightly chokes combat shotgun that can take the head off of lesser enemies at surprising distances. He is just deadly accurate with it. Let him keep using it, as he has endless ammo.

I give him some frag grenades, but note that he sometimes will get careless and include me with the blast radius.

Charon can carry a generous amount of weight and is your pack mule while traveling. While power armor counts against his weight limit, I found it worth it.

While very tough in power armor, he is not immortal. If you let him get surrounded by a lot enemies, he can get killed. Ditto if you let him face a DeathClaw or other melee monster up close. His fault is that he fights too close sometimes and takes damage that he doesn’t need to take. I equip him with some spare medpacks and it appears he can use them.

When I encounter situations where Charon can get his peeling ghoul butt killed, I tell him to wait. He will stay put and you can sneak ahead and thin the herd or lead enemies back to him.

Keeping Charon out of harm’s way during any of the five Super Mutant Behemoth fights is an option if you want to keep him alive.

Again, Charon is available for cash, doesn’t care about your Karma rating, and is able to carry a lot of weight and dish out plenty o’ damage.

One trait of his that can be amusing is that when you talk to him he invariably will comment that he “doesn’t like the look of this place.” I found it funny when I had him at my Megaton house to have him comment on my various themes. He just didn’t like any of them.

The other companion you can get early is Dogmeat, but I keep him at my house. I am fond of him and don’t want him to meet his end on the wastes. Hey, it is nice to have a dog to greet me after a tough day out scavving the DC ruins.



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