El Dorado substation
El Dorado substation
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 critical element of the Republic's infrastructure, acting as the central routing station for all power generated by Hoover Dam and the nearby Helios One. The transformers are connected to a network of underground power cables, part of a power grid covering the American Southwest, and transmit energy output to the Mojave and the core lands of the Republic. Understandably, since this is the station that keeps the lights on at home, Army troops have orders to shoot any unauthorized persons entering the transformer enclosure or the control station. 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.
Located in the shadow of the Black Mountain, the substation consists of the transformer enclosure, surrounded by a chain link fence, and the station building. The interior of the station contains restored electronics that direct the flow of power from the Dam and a terminal that can be used to redirect it. Soldiers on duty alternate shifts and sleep on mattresses inside the station.
Once the player approaches, a soldier will come up to them and inform that they are not to enter either the enclosure or the substation. True to their word, the eight NCR troopers in the area will immediately attack if the player does either. However, outside pursuing the relevant quests, there's no reason to annoy the soldiers this way.
- Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap: Trash can outside the station.
- Wild Card: Finishing Touch and The House Always Wins: Both quests require the player to use an override chip on the power control terminal. Doing so grants minor infamy with the NCR.
Behind the scenes
- 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.
El Dorado substation appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
- 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)