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Walk out into the main area. The vault is actually right in front of you, but it’s sealed off. Walk to the right and use the terminal to unlock the maintenance access and read about the dead man’s switch on the elevator.
Go into the maintenance area and look at the sparking side of a speaker directly in front of you as step out onto the broken walkways. Shoot it to clear the path. Run down and then just run into the little office with the ammo boxes. You should be able to make it past the interference. Get the ammo and then get ready to start running again.
Move down and into the poison gas, slightly. Turn around and shoot the speaker just above the door into the gas. This will give you another speaker-free spot. Crouch to look out the window of your little safe spot. There’s another speaker above and to the left. There’s a third to the right, but it’s shielded, along with a fourth shielded one right above you.
Get ready to run. Holster your weapons and quicksave before going. Spring along the path and leap over the first gap. You’ll have a brief spot to stop, if you want, right before the first break. Drop down onto the pathway and quickly run up the steps and run down the left path. Hit the terminal as quickly as you can and shut down the alarms. You should be able to just barely make it in time if you have your gun holstered and nothing is crippled. Consider wearing light armor too. You’ll want anything that can boost your speed.
The Security Guards
The next room has security guards, so be ready for a little sneaking. There are three emitters. One is on a beam high up in the room. You can see it if you turn around and look to the center from the back of the room. There’s another in the back right area. To be honest, it didn’t seem necessary to actually take out the holograms. I had no problem just running through their field of view and avoiding them with a little terminal use.
Start by running to the left and jumping the gap. Sneak over to the first terminal on the left when the guard’s a little further away. Have him move over to patrol the water valve. This frees up your movement a bit more. Fall back and hide while he assumes his patrol. Move up carefully to the next computer in the line while the water valve guard has his back turned. Use the second terminal and change the second patrol to just protect the computer. Fall back a bit so that he doesn’t spot you.
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This clears up the center area, and you should be able to quickly move to the enclosure in the back right of the room. From there, just go down the steps to the terminal. The walls should break the line of sight and keep you safe. At the third terminal, you can shut down the forcefields and the alarms. You can also set alternate patrol routes to clear a path.
Move back on the catwalk and just run past the final guard to the next hallway. You’re basically home free now. Use the vault control panel to shutdown vault security and clear the way through to the vault itself. Walk down and go into the vault itself. You can stop by the skeleton to get the final piece of history for the vault from Sinclair.
When you’re ready, go into the vault.
Cracking the Vault
There’s a lot here, but it’s actually fairly easy to loot. If you’re in normal mode, make sure that you get the 900 .357 rounds in the security cabinet. I also suggest that you get a fully repaired set of Sierra Madre reinforced armor from the security cabinet. There’s a bunch there, so just repair until you’re satisfied.
The real treat is the gold bars though. Each one weighs 35 pounds and is worth over 10,000 caps. There are 37 here. That’s too many to physically carry out, unless you’re basically going to use an exploit with perfect timing.
For a standard run though, you can easily grab a few. Dump everything that isn’t unique to the Sierra Madre. Get rid of the default shotguns, any extra pieces of armor and any remaining food or random items. Just keep enough guns and ammo to fight off a few ghost people. For hardcore players, remember that ammo has a weight to it. Ditch what you don’t need. You can buy whatever you need by trading in a gold bar to the gun runners.
Take as many bars as you can carry, then use the panel in the center. Read the entry for “Vera” to get the final story from Sinclair. Once it’s done, obviously don’t read the “personal files” section, unless you want the quick novelty ending. Exit the terminal and Elijah will call you through the hidden video panel.
Taking Care of Elijah
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You’ll need some way to bring Elijah down to you. You can do this with one of any number of skill checks. You’ll need 75 points in either: Speech, Barter, Explosives, Repair, Science, Sneak or Lockpick. You’ll be able to convince him to come down with a skill check in any of these. When he agrees, you’ll need to use the terminal to unlock the vault and leave. You can try hacking the turrets if you want, but it’s fairly pointless. They don’t have an achievement tied to them and they don’t pack much of a punch against reinforced armor.
If you want to take all the gold bars, you just have to be willing to cheat a little bit and exploit the system. If you can manage to get into a corner with a stealth boy, and drop a bunch of C4 outside the vault, you can either blow Elijah up with C4, or slip out before he restarts the forcefield. You can then just use the elevator and leave. Walk out at the painfully slow rate and finish the game. Leave the bunker. If you have the right perk, you can fast travel while encumbered. If not, you can just shoot something and put all the gold bars onto its body. Then just carry the body to the nearest safehouse and ditch all your gear somewhere safe and bus it to your suite.
I don’t really suggest bothering with that though. It’s just not worth it.
For standard players:
You have two choices here. You can confront Elijah, or run/sneak away. Sneaking is actually the same as what happens after you kill him, so just skip ahead if that’s your plan. If you hang around, Elijah will come down and realize that you’re planning to kill him. He’ll first turn on the turrets in the room. They will barely scratch your armor. Just turn and use a few well placed shots to take them out. If you helped Christine, she’ll also shut a few down.
Once a few turrets are down, Elijah will run in with a gauss rifle. Just use the holorifle or any standard gun to take him out. His robes don’t offer much protection, so he’ll die quickly. You just need to use some stimpaks to heal the heavy damage of his gauss rifle. Grab his gun and his robes, then get ready to run.
If you just want to sneak out, you can try to get through on the other side of the room before Elijah raises the forcefields. He usually auto-detects you though.
Escaping the Sierra Madre
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Either way, when it’s time to make your escape, slip out the back entrance that you used to get in and backtrack through the maintenance tunnel. You’ve got a short amount of time until your collar explodes, so hurry. Keep your gun holstered and look for shortcuts. Once you’re past the security area, you’ll reach the poison gas section. Leap over the rail at the start to land close to the entrance. You’ll save a lot of time doing this.
For the next section, just run up the steps and leap the gap. Take the right turn and get to the door. Note that if it shows up as locked, you can just look away for a second and it should unlock. Go through it to reach the start. Open the center maintenance door and then go into the elevator at the end of the row to end the chapter and escape in time. Your collar will be removed, and you’ll be at the fountain.
Watch out for remaining ghost people and just enjoy the Villa. When you’re ready to go, just walk out the gate across from the Sierra Madre to travel back to the Wastes. You should get all of your old gear back automatically as you leave the bunker.
Note that there are few things in the bunker. Elijah has a spare set of robes, in case you didn’t kill him. There’s also a lot of gear and energy weapons lying around. As his terminal explains, he abused the Sierra Madre system to have automated shipments of chips delivered to the doorbox just outside his little bedroom. There’s also a complimentary voucher. If you earned one in the casino, you can redeem this for 1000 chips.
You can redeem your chips, and use any new slugs you make, in the vending machine that he installed by his bed. It’s a great source for cheap and unlimited medical supplies, along with .308 ammo.
You can also get a special hologram, labeled Father Elijah’s final words, off of his computer. Veronica can unlock it and it will offer a new companion perk for her.
After that, you’re officially done with Dead Money.
All screenshots from Fallout:New Vegas – Dead Money