- “I was getting some strange signals on the radio the other day. [...] If that wasn't the Scavvers... who was it?”
- —Strange Signals
The Big Mountain Research and Development Center (colloquially known as Big Mountain or Big Empty) was a pre-war research facility for the development of experimental sciences. As of 2301, it has become the site of pitched battles between members of the Brotherhood of Steel and a group of Survivors known as tech scavvers. It is accessed by using C4 to destroy the rubble blocking the train tunnel near Burned Bulls Camp.
Before the war, Big Mountain was home to the cream of the American scientific community, tasked by the Big Mountain Company and the United States government to develop new weapons and technologies to preserve the American way of life in perpetuity. However, the combination of overly ambitious scientists and an expansionist regime in Washington D.C resulted in Big MT's mandate becoming less and less ethical in terms of both methodology and desired outcomes. These include but are not limited to; human experimentation on unwilling political dissidents, reckless inter-species genetic tampering and the development and deployment of bio-chemical weapons. As of 2301, the Big MT compound is occupied by Brotherhood of Steel expeditionary forces after a unknown set of circumstances resulted in the crater being flooded.
As of the events of DUST, all but the highest geographical points within Big mountain have been flooded due to the actions of an Automated Personality installed within a sink. Because of this, most of the research facilities located in the crater are inaccessible to survivors. The sections above ground are the site of an ongoing war between an unknown chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel and a group of raiders called Tech Scavvers, both of whom are heavily armed and hostile on sight.
Since large parts of Big MT are flooded by water emitting 1 RAD/sec, swimming should be avoided in favor of using the pipelines above water level, when possible. Some of these pipelines are mined, though.
Areas of Interest
- Some healing items, booze and chems are located on the roof of one of derailed train carriages next to the tunnel exit providing the entry point into Big MT
- The Securitron deconstruction plant contains a drinkable toilet as well as a Workbench and is guarded by highly aggressive Securitrons, including Berserk type ones and 010011110110111001100101. There's not much in the way of loot apart from some beverages, crafting components and a handful of ammunition.
- There's a duffel bag behind the X-8 Research Center containing healing items and chems. The door to the facility is locked with an unobtainable key.
- A fridge in the X-7b "Boom Town" target zone contains irradiated food and drink, with one of the ruined buildings providing for a bit of ammo and a bottle of Nuka-Cola Victory and Quartz
- The Valence Radii-Accelerator providing Health Regeneration can be looted off the unique Mister Orderly model "Doctor Orderly MD PhD DDS" in the Y-17 Medical Facility. The facility still contains Christine's COS Recon Armor
- The flooded Higgs Village can only be entered diving, houses contain air pockets though, and most provide for some food, booze, drink and a heap of mentats. #102 has usable beds (and a duffel bag with healing items and chems lodged between its roof and a tree), aptly named #00 has a zero RAD drinkable toilet, and #103 has a Ripper in its hard locked basement (warning: The basement is flooded as well). Various containers in the area contain ammunition,
- The X-2 antenna can still be found on top of the X-2 transmitter antenna array, with other loot including Pulse Grenades and ammunition
- The inside of Ulysses' Point is free of water, providing a comparably large amount of ammunition and explosives (some containers are easy / average locked), as well as usable beds, weapons, a Hot Plate, a Campfire, a Reloading Bench, large amounts of irradiated food and even a small stash of Purified Water. Materials for crafting a single Weapon Repair Kit are present and if the Survivor brings Wonderglue, even a few more.
- The surroundings of The Think Tank are swarming with Brotherhood of Steel often in combat with Tech Scavvers, with parties carrying lore and assorted weaponry including Saturnite Fists, .45 Auto Pistols, Grenade Machine Guns, Rippers, Incinerators, Thermic Lances, Laser RCWs and the Sprtel-Wood 9700. A single Y-17 Trauma Harnesses can also be encountered. Survivors will find the elevators to be inaccessible after clearing the mines.
- Z-9 Crotalus DNA preservation lab contains still working Deluxe Chemistry sets (Science 25 for e.g. 5 Stimpaks), huge amounts of Nightstalker sampling material and very convenient stationary Electric Hot Plates to prepare about a dozen Steaks from the Coyote Meat found in containers and on the Nighstalkers wandering around. An average locked storage room contains some crafting materials and ammunition.
- Z-14 Pepsinae DNA splicing lab still has a population of Cazadors, which is a good occasion to gain and increase the DNAvenger challenge perk, providing +10% damage against them per rank. A Deluxe Chemistry set present can be used to create e.g. 5 Stimpaks at Science 25. Specimen 73, still being around, will drop the Atomic-Valence Tri-Radii Oscillator, a slightly improved variant of the Valence Radii-Accelerator. There's not much by the way of loot, apart from a Scientist Glove, a few rolls of Duct Tape and additional crafting materials, Proton Throwing Axes and a bit of ammunition (including a comparably large amount of missiles).
- The inside as well as the roof of the Signal Hills Transmitter building contain nothing of note, apart from a handful of ammunition and a usable bed
- An inactive fountain north-east of the Signal Hills Transmitter building contains a Valence Radii-Accentuator, with the fountain being guarded by Spore Plants and a specimen of Dionaea Muscipula of which a Corrosive Glove can be looted. Also, Broc Flower, Xander Root and Mutated Cave Fungus can be found close by.
- Due to being completely flooded, the X-22 Botanical Gardens are hard to explore, and do not seem to provide for any loot remotely justifying the risks
- Proper timing and working knowledge of the location will enable the Survivor to reach the entrance to the X-42 robo-warfare facility, but it is locked by an unobtainable key, rendering the Forbidden Zone dome inaccessible. Also it's very likely Survivors will drown on their way back up to the surface.
- The door to the X-17 meteorological station is still accessible, albeit only after taking yet another dive. Inside, two Mr Gutsies and a unique Mr Gutsy model named Ironbelly will almost immediately attack. Ironbelly carries a few Protonic Inversal Throwing Axes, with the rest of the area containing a few crafting materials, a bit of drink and a handful of ammunition. Survivors are advised to run the weather test, which will still reveal a well filled duffle bag below the testing platform.
- Another Valence Radii-Accentuator can be found on top of the cantilever of the crane in the Construction Site. The area, being guarded by Protectrons and a crazed Mr Gutsy, contains a handful of ammo, as well as quite a few Pulse and Plasma Grenades.
- Little Yangtze has been turned into a Scavenger Camp, with some of the scavengers holding ballistic weapons, providing for ammunition. More interestingly, Christine's COS Silencer Rifle is still located in the ruined building next to the camp and Elijah's Advanced LAER sits on the camps watch tower Other than that, the location provides very little in the way of loot, except for some crafting materials and the occasional piece of food and drink.
- One of the Protectrons in the Big MT West Tunnel has what quite possibly is the last dose of Salient Green on it, as well as a Primer and powder pack. The rest of the location contains a bit of drink, ammunition and crafting materials. Of note is a near perfect condition Saturnite Fist found in the second tunnel tube, accessible through an easy locked door.
- The door of the X-13 research facility is locked with an unobtainable key
- Yet another Valence Radii-Accentuator is located in the Z-38 Lightwave Dynamics Research facility, but care should be taken to keep distance from the holographic field holding it, when fetching it. Other than that, there's a few crafting materials and a bit of drink in the facility.
- Z-43 innovative toxins plant is still home to a few Y-17 Trauma Harnesses, and has lots of Drained Microfusion Cells splattered around. Besides a few crafting materials and a bit of drink, there's a Deluxe Chemistry Set but not much more to gain, other than RAD poisoning.
- With the Survivor lacking the Sonic Emitter and its upgrade, the " X-8 vertebrae-pulse-de-sensitizer frequency" to deactivate force fields, the X-12 research facility only provides for a few crafting materials and a bit of drink.
- Protected by turrets, Elijah's Watch provides for a good amount of food, even including a small stash of Purified Water, an Electric Hot Plate, a usable bed and Elijah's Jury-Rigged Tesla Canon.
- The dive to the Big MT North Tunnel is probably not worth it, as not only will the Survivor come under fire of an overclocked turret when entering the tunnel, but, lacking the Sonic Emitter, will not be able to deactivate the forcefield leading further down. A dose of Hydra can be found in the tunnel, as well as a bit of ammunition and drink. Survivors in dire need of Weapon Repair Kits might be interested in the three rolls of Duct Tape located in a side room of the tunnel, though.
- Filled with a good amount of Mutated Cave Fungus, the Mysterious Cave requires taking a potentially disorienting and thus risky dive to reach. The Survivor will have to fight Centaurs, including Evolved ones (or try and make a run for it), to reach the Legendary Bloatfly, which, just as the Centaurs, requires an inordinate amount of ammunition to be killed, resulting in about 50 Bloatfly Meat and lots of chems to be looted. Other than that, the cave does not contain anything of interest, other than a few crafting materials and a Hot Plate.
- The Survivor will want to run forward as fast as they can right after entering the Toaster's Bloodshrine (formerly known as The Cuckoo's Nest). Being mined in an almost hilarious way, Survivors preferring explosives will find a wealth of Toaster Mines. There's a bit of additional lore, food and drink and a handful of crafting materials.
- Protected by Tech Scavengers and an RY-589 Ultimo bot, the X-7a "Left Field" artillery launch site, as well as its command center building contain little of interest, apart from a bit of ammunition and crafting materials.
- Collecting any of the items related to the main quest of the Old World Blues DLC will cause Dr. Mobius to address the player and will result in a number of Lakelurks spawning nearby, replacing the Robo-scorpions from the original game.
- While it is unknown what fate has befallen the Think Tank as of 2301, this oversight could be attributed to the use of prerecorded messages set up by Mobius which has the unintended consequence of alerting the area's new aquatic residents.
- 010011110110111001100101 still carries parts for upgrading Muggy
- Muggy can be found floating inactive in one of the houses of the flooded Higgs Village, carrying a whopping 64 Coffee Mugs
- Xander Root can grow under water, as proven in Higgs Village
- Super-Egos can swim, as seen near Higgs Village
- Some of the water surfaces surrounding the X-2 transmitter array allow for jumping down from the antenna without taking damage
- Getting too close to the Valence Radii-Accentuator in the Z-38 Lightwave Dynamics Research facility will take the Survivor out for 24 hours, immensely increasing the hardcore need counters. It can be taken safely from a distance, though.
- Returning to the Mojave wasteland through the tunnel used entering Big MT is possible
- Ignoring the perimeter warning will transport the player to a location next to the Scavenger Camp formerly known as Little Yangtze, but not to the balcony, as in the base game
- Many of the doors found to be locked by unobtainable keys in DUST's version of Big MT don't have a key as well in the unmodified version of the Old World Blues add-on. Instead, they are opened automatically when following quests, which are no longer available in DUST.