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Steeltown Blues is a quest in Wasteland 3: Battle of Steeltown.


Abigail Markham told us many of Steeltown's issues are due to the malfunctioning Computation Engine, a sophisticated computer used to coordinate much of Steeltown's activities. She's asked us to find Blue, who helped her design the C.E., and obtain from him a Synaptic Degausser to help her repair it.


  • This is a fun quest! Head back to Steeltown gates and into the scrapyard. You'll see Beals finishing her fiddling with H3R0, so time to pick up the trail and move in to see what she can offer. Beals is found deeper in the scrapyard and after a cute reference to Maniac by Flashdance (see here), you get down to brass tacks. With Hard Ass 9, you can try to knock some sense into her, which will only cause them to disappear (that's why they're called Ghosts, Ranger).
  • Check the dead body in the corner for the Steeltown scout journal that clues you in on how to solve the puzzle. Head back to the solar-powered radio on the forklift in the center of the map after reading the journal and listen for a cryptic message on 89.3 FM: 9 - <a number> - 63 - <a number> - 54 - <a number>.
  • This is a simple puzzle. All you need to do is find the wrecked cars:
    • Police car near where Old Man Vinters was, with number 54, and press the preset with the number given after 54.
    • Old racing buggy near the waste worm, with number 63 and press the preset with the number given after 63.
    • Wrecked sports car near where Beals disappeared, with number 3 and press the preset with the number given after 9.
  • Doing so unlocks access to the ghost garage. Enter the garage and face a choice between going at him full tilt or using a little subterfuge. The door right near the entrance requires explosives 9 and Lockpick 8 to get through, then Sneaky Shit 6 to disable a laser tripwire in the connecting chamber, but allows you to reach Secret Head. Interact with Blue's throne and it will realize that you are not its owner, but someone else. To stop it from sounding the alarm, you need Mechanics 9 to admire its construction or Kiss Ass 9 to lie your way out by pretending you're Blue's crew.
  • Past the throne room is a hidden door you can use to enter the main garage area from the side and take up better position - and to get an advantageous high ground against Blue's crew. You can use the intercom to negotiate once you get into position (your choice) and use Kiss Ass 7 to try diplomacy or Hard Ass 8 to intimidate and attack (If the Kiss Ass option is unavailable, you may use non lethal weapons in the following fight with Blue and when all enemies are disrupted he will talk with you). If you try diplomacy, you'll be able to come up to Blue and talk with him. If Di is in tow, he will insist on removing Markham's hacks and restoring her to her original state, as an objective judge of plans and an independent synth.
  • Blue puts a new spin on the situation, revealing that the computation engine is actually a network of enslaved synths. At this point, you have to make a decision: Either go with Markham's plans or agree with Blue to at least hear the synths out. The former means hostilities, the latter means you can get out unscathed (this doesn't lock you into a decision). If you made a poor impression on Blue, he will ask for collateral (a hostage).
    • To make a good impression, remove Karl Ludlow from power, agree that the engine is a form of slavery, don't kill Ghost Gang members (using disruption weapons is fine), bring refugees from the Bizarre to Colorado Springs safely, cooperate with the Machine Commune, kill Victory Buchanan, reveal Bennie Bianchi's duplicity to Markham during Hot Commodities, complete Flushed. Gather enough points and Blue will trust you.
    • The collateral request can be bypassed by having Kiss Ass 10.


  • Either way, the degausser is in your hands. Return to Steeltown proper and approach the gates. If you sided with Crow, you'll have to defuse a situation, as the workers are on strike again to use the leverage of the incoming battle to gain concessions from Markham. Abigail disagrees and wants them back to work, with negotiations to take place later. Salene isn't having any of that and wants negotiations now. In the ensuing dialogue, you can side with either or remind them that the gangs are coming and will kill them both.
Why is it every time the workers want something, the answer is always 'wait 'til next year,' or 'after this push?' And every time the bosses want something, we're supposed to say, 'Yes ma'am. Right away, ma'am! Well, ma'am, we're done delaying our safety and security until it's convenient for you. If you can't run this factory so takes care of all of us, then you're not going to run it at all. We are! As of right now, we're taking over!
~ Salene Crow

  • Make your decision, Ranger. If you side with Crow, you will be forced to assassinate Markham, as she has no implant and can't be disabled with disruption weapons. If you side with Markham, you can disable Crow and the rest of the workers, though it's always an uphill battle. Consider sending a decoy in first, then following up with your main force. Kodiak can participate, so make use of it. Once the dust settles, enter the factory. You'll have to fight your way to Markham's command center, either through workers or her security force. Note that it's virtually impossible to pull of a non-lethal approach, and nobody will blame you for getting violent.
  • To advance, you need to clear the admin floor of enemies. Note that the merchants will still work, Nurse Firenze will still heal you, and you can use the war bot on the right to support your attack (assuming you didn't break it down for spare parts). It might even be best to get through to Firenze to benefit from her healing. Once the floor's pacified, you get access to Markham.
  • Markham will either be deposed by Crow or ask you to help her fix the computation engine. She will agree that she grew dependent on it, particularly for automating schedules, writing assignments, and generally working without the need for human department heads to transfer orders to the relevant workers. In fact, she grew so dependent on it, that returning to old, human-run Steeltown is just not on the table: Steeltown will be drowned in chaos that way. The quest completes and Electric Dreams starts.


  • Experience and some scrap

Raw strings[]

        "Steeltown Blues",
        "Find Blue and the Ghost Gang.",
        "Confront Blue and obtain the Synaptic Degausser.",
        "Bring the Synaptic Degausser to Markham.",
        "Return to the Ghost Garage and find the Synaptic Degausser.",
        "Talk to Crow.",
        "Deal with the Computation Engine.",
        "Deal with the Computation Engine.",
        "Talk to Blue.",
        "Talk to Blue.",
        "Steeltown is hostile.",
        "Search Blue's office for the Synaptic Degausser.",
        "Abigail Markham told us many of Steeltown's issues are due to the malfunctioning Computation Engine, a sophisticated computer used to coordinate much of Steeltown's activities.\n\n\nShe's asked us to find Blue, who helped her design the C.E., and obtain from him a Synaptic Degausser to help her repair it.",
        "Markham says she believes Blue and his gang are staging their raids on Steeltown from the nearby Scrapyard.",
        "We found the entrance to the Ghost Garage hidden among the mountains of Junk in the Scrapyard.\n\n\nLet's go have a chat with Blue.",
        "Apparently, Markham and Di made the Computation Engine by linking the neural networks of a number of synths they captured. The Synaptic Degausser will erase their minds, but leave their processing power intact.\n\n\nBlue thinks the Engine is a form of slavery, that the use of the Synaptic Deguasser is murder. He wants the synths to be liberated.\n\n\nWe need to talk about this with Markham.",
        "We've already found the Ghost Garage. We should return there to search for the Synaptic Degausser.",
        "We decided to help Crow overthow Markham. We should ask her how she feels about the Computation Engine.",
        "With Steeltown's leadership crisis sorted, it's time to deal with the malfunctiong Computation Engine in the Spire.",
        "With Steeltown's leadership crisis sorted, it's time to deal with the malfunctiong Computation Engine in the Spire.\n\n\nAnd if we want the get back the collateral we gave to Blue, we're going to have to free the synths.",
        "We freed the Synths. Let's go make sure Blue holds up his end of the bargain.",
        "We didn't free the Synths.\n\n\nBlue's going to be pissed.",
        "Blue was a man of his word. Everything where it should be.",
        "With everyone in Steeltown turned against us, there's no way to sort things out with Blue.",
        "With Blue dead, we'll have to find the Synaptic Degausser in his personal effects.",
        "We've got a clue that revealing the entrance to the Ghost Garage requires setting presets on car radios around the scrapyard to match a pattern. Our first stop should be the radio on the forklift in the scrapyard to start the sequence."