The desert (A.K.A the wasteland) is just as formidable as it was before the holocaust. In addition to the lack of water and the fierce heat, there are reports of radiation zones that have melted the flesh of unwary travelers. Along with the irradiated human element—left-over biker gangs, rabid survivalists, crazed religious zealots—all sorts of mutant animals make their home in the desert. Some say that traveling in the desert nowadays without an experienced guide is plain suicidal. You begin your adventure in the desert along the California-Arizona border. The area you'll cover extends from the Ranger Center in the south up to the Grand Canyon in the north. The towns of Quartz, Needles and Las Vegas are three places you'll surely want to visit.
- Agricultural Center
- Base Cochise (hidden until Las Vegas sewers)
- Darwin Village
- Desert Nomads
- Guardian Citadel
- Las Vegas
- Mine Shaft
- Ranger Center
- Savage Village
- Sleeper One (hidden until Las Vegas sewers)
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- If you travel through the hot spots of the desert every character in you party not carrying a Canteen gets hurt.
- Don't try to access Darwin Village from the south. The area around Darwin is contaminated. You can see it glow during the night. Darwin can only be safely entered from the North or with Rad suits.
- Right north of Quartz you'll find a broken Jeep. Ace can fix it and it brings you safely to Needles. But this is optional, you can freely go to Needles without the Jeep at any time.
- Base Cochise and Sleeper Base are not on the map in the beginning so you can't travel there right away. The locations are revealed later in the game.
- The river will sweep you away if you try crossing it without using the bridges. This is a Swim skill check, and failures will send you downstream. This at worst knocks you unconscious, but all conscious characters need to succeed.