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Hacking Guide by DrAgRoS

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 11/09/2008

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						-My first ASCII title ever!

FALLOUT 3: Hacking FAQ v1.2

Author:	DrAgRoS
	Dave Bosley 

Email:	TubaDave2513 at gmail dot com
	(change at to @ and dot to . and take away the spaces)

First Posted : 10/31/2008


This is a guide to the finer points of hacking terminals in Fallout 3. It
includes tips and tricks that will enable you to easily hack every terminal
in the game.


Table of Contents:

[I] Hacking? WTF is that?
    [I.1] Why is hacking useful?
    [I.2] Do i need to know how to hack to beat the game?

[II] How to Hack
     [II.1] Getting Started
     [II.2] Hacking Requirements
     [II.3] Hacking Interface
     [II.4] Spotting the Best Word
     [II.5] Process of Elimination
     [II.6] If All Else Fails
     [II.7] The Bracket Trick

[III] Special Thanks

[IV] Version Info

[V] Closing Stuff

[I] Hacking? WTF is that?
[I.1] Why is hacking useful?

Computer terminals are scattered throughout the desecrated ruins of
Washington D.C. in Fallout 3. Often times these terminals can do anything
from open a safe or locked door to giving away a piece of the story you
would not get otherwise. Without knowing how to hack properly you would be
missing out on some of the best loot, the coolest weapons, the most fun
secrets, and a good chunk of the story. So I'm here to teach you the 
process of hacking like a 1337 pro.


[I.2] Do i need to know how to hack to beat the game?

While it is not necessary to know how to hack to actually finish all of 
the story missions in Fallout 3, you really haven't truely beaten the game 
until you experience all this masterpiece has to offer. If you don't have
the knowledge of hacking at your disposal, there is no way to get this

[II] How to Hack

[II.1] Getting Started

It's now time to get into the juicy bits of the hacking minigame in Fallout
3. At first glance, the green flickering screen with hundreds of random 
looking characters may be daunting, but once you understand how to use it
properly it will be very simple to use.


[II.2] Hacking Requirements

All terminals in Fallout 3 have a difficulty, there are 5 in total. If you
are able to hack the terminal or not is based on your science skill. The
different difficulties are as follows:

[Difficulty]	[Science Skill Required]

Very Easy		0
Easy			25
Average			50
Hard			75
Very Hard		100

Your science skill not only dictates what terminals you are able to hack,
but it also determines how many passwords will be on the screen to choose

(if anyone knows the math behind this please e-mail me at the address at 
the top of the page)


[II.3] Hacking Interface

The hacking interface is as follows:

ENTER PASSWORD NOW                                       |
4 ATTEMPT(S) LEFT : [] [] [] []                          |
0xF92C %*-}'!.-[)#! 0xF9F8 :($-?!!}'%_(                  |
0xF938 (>!];-/\[=(, 0xFA04 /?;_;#"]!!:,                  |
0xF944 @PARTNERSHIP 0xFA10 %'%{.@@}#?|+                  |
0xF950 S=\]%,*?++:] 0xFA1C ="||^<@-|PUR                  |
0xF96C #\--(??%=^\? 0xFA28 IFICATION(^S                  |
0xF978 ]$/!]'|]=}"| 0xFA34 ECLUSIONIST>                  |
0xF984 REPRIMANDING 0xFA40 .,"CONSTRUCT                  |
0xF980 :(%CIVILIZAT 0xFA4C ION@'_'=':'>                  |
0xF99C ION:(]=%?|{A 0xFA58 =!.;/'+.@'/D                  |
0xF908 PPRECIATION' 0xFA64 ISAPPEARING%                  |
0xF9A4 :*CONVERSATI 0xFA70 ,]%?<TRANSMI                  |
0xF9B0 ON=.:="+$@#< 0xFA7C SSION,}"/'},                  |
0xF9BC ['<'%':}!%;+ 0xFA88 \"%\^?<(|APP                  |
0xF9C8 '('#'?,.%*!+ 0xFA94 REHENSIVE}<+                  |
0xF9D4 =\.\?/(!|#?< 0xFAA0 "<\^+].^^'._                  |
0xF9E0 |[)???@?%{CI 0xFAAC ;++}{=/'\ENC                  |
0xF9EC RCUMSTANCE_= 0xFAB8 OUNTERING*}; >[]              |

						   |    |
					    POWER  ------

There are 4 parts of the interface you need to understand to be a good

ATTEMPT(S) LEFT - The boxes and the number seem to be redundant, but oh
		  well... this line says how many tries you have until the
		  Terminal locks up and you can't use it again.

The Code Block -  This is the big chunk of jumbled random characters and
		  words that fill up the majority of the screen. In this
		  block somewhere is the correct password, our job is to
		  find out which one it is by process of elimination.
		  Also included in this block are what I call "Bracket
		  Tricks." These are special sections of code that can 
		  either give you back all mistaken attempts or remove a
		  password choice from the block completely. For more 
		  information on this, see section II.7.

Input/Output(I/O)-The arrow in the bottom right of the window that points
		  to the blinking square is the Input/Output line. When you 
		  attempt a password, this is where it types it in. After 
		  an attempt, the password will move above the I/O and
		  display how close you were to the correct answer.

Power Button -    The red button on the bottom of the screen is not just 
		  for show, it exits you out of the hacking terminal. The 
		  main reason to turn off the terminal in this screen is 
		  because if you don't know the answer on your last
		  attempt, closing the terminal and opening it back up will 
		  generate a new puzzle for you with all of your attempts 


[II.4] Spotting the Best Word

In the code block, anywhere that there is a letter, it is part of a
possible password. When reading the words in the code block, you have to 
think of the whole thing as being one long line of characters. Words will 
be on more than one line at a time more often than they appear on a single 
line. If you look at the code block above there are 13 words that can 
possibly be passwords:


The way the game tells you if you are close is by saying the number of 
correct characters that were in your guess. What this means is that if you 
got 5/12 of the letters correct 5 letters in the word you chose were in the 
same place as 5 letters in the actual answer.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


A lot of people misunderstand this so I will go through solving the block
that I typed in above step by step. The puzzle above came directly from a
"very hard" terminal in Fallout 3 and I am solving it as I type this FAQ.

The very first thing you have to do is pick a good starting word. The best
way to do this is by looking at all of the words and determining what 
character combinations repeat the most. Look at prefixes, suffixes, the 
middles of the words, and figure out the most re-occuring theme among them.

In this example:

4 words follow the "_ _ _ _ _ _ _ A T I O N" theme and one word ends in
"TION" without the 'A' and one just ends in "ION."

3 words follow "_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ I N G"

4 words have no real pattern that shows up.

Because the larges group ends in "ATION," "TION," or "ION" I will choose 
APPRECIATION as my first word.


[II.5] Process of Elimination

The message for entering APPRECIATION read:

>Entry denied
>4/12 correct.


This means that 4 of the 12 letters in APPRECIATION were the correct letter 
and in the correct place. Now I need to find a word that shares ONLY 4 
letters in the same place as APPRECIATION.

Because "ATION" has 5 letters in it, that means the word does NOT end in 
"ATION" but that does not rule out "TION" or "ION."

Here are the possibilities (the arrows point to letters that each have).

      ^  ^^^	        ^^^^

There are only 2 possibilities! That means that because we still have 3
chances, there is no way for us to fail hacking this terminal.

I will try CONSTRUCTION first...

>Entry denied
>3/12 correct.


Well that means that TRANSMISSION must be the password!

>Entry accepted.



[II.6] If All Else Fails.

That last attempt was a success, but what if you got to your last attempt 
and the answer was not certain? What do you do now?

You have 3 options.

#1) The Gamble
	Just eliminate as many choices as you can and make a guess between 
	the remaining words. I do not suggest or recommend using this 
	method in ANY situation. If you mess up, the terminal will lock and 
	you can never open it unless you find an item that has the password 
	on it.

#2) Start Over
	Click the power button at the bottom of the interface and exit the
	terminal. As soon as you exit, you are able to try again just by 
	entering the terminal again. Use this method if you have no 
	possible way of doing method #3).

#3) Bracket Tricks
	This method is a little more in-depth, so I will devote section 
	II.7 to it alone.


[II.7] The Bracket Trick

Hidden in the code block you may be able to find what I like to refer to as 
a "Bracket Trick." A Bracket Trick is a collection of those random
punctuation marks that appear between the words that are encased in a 
bracket of any kind. In the code block above, there is one hidden in there.

The second column of the Code Block and the third row contains this line:

0xFA10 %'%{.@@}#?|+ 

The Bracket trick in this line is:


Every terminal has a chance to produce bracket tricks, but not every
terminal will have one. Some may even have multiple tricks. To tell if you 
have found a Bracket Trick all you have to do is hover the cursor over the 
opening bracket. If the entire thing lights up, congratulations, you found 

A Bracket trick can be between a few different types of brackets:

<____>   [____]   {____}   (____)

Any of these can be any size possible in the scope of the code block and 
they can be across many lines.

A Bracket Trick will never contain a possible password.

I have found that the best way to search a code blcok for tricks is to just 
move the cursor over every character and if something that is not a word 
lights up, you found one.

Now that you know what they look like and how to find them easily you
probably want to know why you want these.

These have a random chance when clicked to either give you back all of your
attempts or remove a possibility from the Code Block.

The best time to use one is when you have 1 attempt remaining so you can
possibly get back the highest number of attempts.


[III] Special Thanks


This is a quick thank you to all of the readers who sent me corrections, 
suggestions, help, or whatever.

-Reaper III 
	-for correcting me on how many attempts a bracket trick fixes.



[IV] Version Info


1.0 - First Publish, All you ever wanted to know about hacking but didn't!

1.1 - Fixed a little error on my part about how many attempts bracket
      tricks give back.

1.2 - Found another instance that I said bracket tricks only give 1 attempt
      back, which of course, is an error.


[V] Closing Stuff


I hope you all enjoy my very first FAQ! Please send any comments or
corrections to my email at the top of the page. 

Happy Hacking!

-Dave 'DrAgRoS' Bosley


This guide is free for distribution, just don't call it your own or my 
lawyer may be knocking at your door!


Fallout 3: Hacking Guide by DrAgRoS
Version 1.1, Last Updated 2008-11-03 View/Download Original File
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