The City and the Stars is a main quest that progresses the questline towards Phineas’s ending. It’s quite lengthy and will take you across Byzantium to acquire the Dimethyl Sulfoxide for Phineas. If you plan on completing as many quests in the game as you can, make sure to not agree to anything Sophia Akande requests of you at the end of the quest and you can make you final decision later in the game. The completion of this quest will begin the first quest in the final chapter of the game, Kept Secret But Not Forgotten.
Part One – Minister Clarke
- You’ll acquire this quest from Phineas after finishing Radio Free Monarch and talking to him back at his lab. With the information he got from Hiram, Phineas was able to track down a hoard of dimethyl sulfoxide with Minister Clarke on Byzantium. He will want you to infiltrate the jewel of the colony and acquire the supply.
- Head to Byzantium’s Freight Port Landing Pad to meet with Carmen Imagawa, Phineas’s contact. You can speak with Ellie when you land to get her Companion Quest, The Low Crusade.
- Leave the ship and find shadowy Carmen Imagawa among the containers to your right.
- You can go through an amusing conversation regarding code names if you note that she is calling Phineas “Phoenix,” but otherwise she will note the location are heavy protection of “Magpie” (Minister Clarke) and, if you inquire further, will give a tip in regards to where the guards hang out. This will update your quest.
- Head out of the doors next to the workbench and ride the lift to your right (follow the LED path) to enter Byzantium. As you walk in, Maverick Johnston will pay you a complement. You can take on his sidequest, if you’d like.
- Make your way toward the tavern and enter Billingsly’s House of Inebriation (central road from the Estates District, or up the stairs from the canal and the Maintenance Tunnels).
- Buy 3x Spectrum Vodka from the Bartender Mechanical. Then talk to Guard Mayfield at the bar and offer him the vodka to celebrate his new important job as a guard.
- Keep offering one after another until he decides to lie down in the room in the back (and die… probably from choking on his own Purpleberry vomit). You can close the door, if you want, and take the Minister’s Estate Key.
- Leave the tavern make your way to the Minister’s Estate in the Estate District (use your quest marker, but otherwise just head towards the HHC Building and you will eventually enter the District). Talk to Hortense Ingalsbee on the way there (she will be complaining to a guard). You can get the Docking Bay Terminal Codes from her if you agree to her sidequest, Why Call Them Back From Retirement?
- Now run up to the estate and speak with the Corporate Sentinel at the front. He’ll refuse you entry, but he does mention a package that the Minister is expecting from HPS. Since you have the key from the guard, you can infiltrate the building through the back, but there will be a lot of guards inside, so obtaining the package is an alternative version.
- Head out of the district, over the westermost bridge – follow the sign for the “Parcel Service” on building and go inside the Halcyon Parcel Service Shop. You can speak to Olive Yates and use an Intimidate/Persuade (~41) on her to convince her to give you the package. Otherwise, you can lockpick your way inside – see #12.
- This is the alternative method of acquiring the package. Head into the Olympus River tunnels, either from the canal itself or from the street, through the arch next to the vending machines by the HPS shop. Giles Molina will be standing by the elevator inside. You can take his sidequest, Cupid of the Laboratory, since you might be heading inside the tunnels soon along the quest anyway (you don’t have to humor his discussion of the inspirations behind each of his lab rats’ names and their backstories). Go through the doors into the HPS building, wait for the guard to go away, and lockpick the door (~60). You can take the parcel from the inside.
- Leave the shop and head back to the Minister’s Estate. With the package, the guard will now let you in.
- Enter the estate and go upstairs. Speak with Minister Clarke in his room and talk about dimethyl sulfoxide. Minister Clarke will be confused. You will learn that he has been placed under a house arrest by the Chairman Rockwell, and there are many reasons for you to investigate his office, dimethyl sulfoxide among them.
- He will tell you to explore the chairman’s office in the HHC headquarters. Ask for directions and he will note that only the workers can walk in from the Acropolis District. The better path otherwise would be through the maintenance tunnels. He’ll also give you the Minister’s HHC Access Card to reach the executive suites once you are there. Before he lets you leave, Minister Clarke will beg you to use Rockwell’s terminal to communicate with Earth to inform them of the mismanagement on Halcyon. That will give you The Lying Earth.
Part Two – HHC Building
- Leave the Minister’s Estate. You have a few options for entering the main HHC building: first, you can use the maintenance tunnels like Minister Clarke suggested. You can also bribe the guard out front. Alternatively, you can walk right in if you’ve already completed Balance Due for The Board and received access. Either way, make your way into the building and speak with Guard Bachmeyer.
- Now take the lift up. Then, go to the room on your left and open it with the access card. Percival Platt will chase after you. If you can pass a high lie check (~65), he will leave you alone (his stationery is more important to him).
- A wall in the Minister’s office that separates him from Chairman Rockwell’s is partially torn down. Head through and use the terminal at the desk to print the Ministry of Accuracy and Morale Key. Hack 100 will allow you to check on the location of dimethyl sulfoxide in addition to what you will learn from the terminal’s messages (they have ordered a tremendous amount of bleach… see the screenshot below). Send Clarke’s message to Earth if you accepted his task earlier.
- Take the elevator back down and leave the building back to the Acropolis District. Go to the building on your left with a few office clerks taking a break outside, the Ministry of Accuracy and Morale. Unlock it with the key you printed out or ask Carmen Imagawa to put you inside a shipment box (she is back at the landing), which will immediately get you inside a restricted area on a higher floor.
Part Three – Ministry of Accuracy and Morale
- Inside the building, if you entered through the main entrance, head into the hallway on your left, and then turn left again (room with a sign “HR” next to it).
- Interact with the terminal inside (hack 47) to learn about Caroline’s beef with Theodore over her lunches.
- Now go upstairs, to the right, all the way down to the cafeteria and talk to Caroline Endecott at one of the tables. Use the dialogue option to talk about Theodore Isaacs. Pass an easy lie check (1) for her to talk to Guard Holte downstairs to let you through. Alternatively, talking to Holte, showing him the Chairman’s keycard, and using Intimidate 70 or Lie 100 would get you the same access.
- Find a locked room with a guard leaning back onto the wall in front of it. Wait for this guard to move along and wait for a second guard patrolling the area to turn his back on you. Lockpick the door. Inside the locker room, you can find a UDL Identity Cartridge to make the job a little easier for you.
- Take the elevator down within this area and make it to the northwest corner, past multiple chambers with test subjects. With an ID cartridge you can afford three dialog checks – just focus on making your way down there, you won’t have to take the same way to get out.
- Use the terminal near the Dimethyl Sulfoxide chamber to fill up the canister in the room. You can either transfer all of it or roughly a quarter. Taking all of it kills everyone inside the tanks, but will give Phineas more gas to use on Hope’s people (it does affect the ending a bit – but it’s ultimately your choice. By the way, you will see test subjects suffocate if you take all of the solution). Take the canister from the room.
- Take the Dimethyl Sulfoxide and go through the barred exit door outside the chamber. It will lead you directly to the elevator. Ride the elevator up to leave the lab. Go to Phineas’ Lab and talk to him to complete The City and the Stars. Phineas will realize how dire the situation with the Board is and push you to act. He will want you to micro-skip the Hope to Terra 2, where Phineas can start reviving scientists from the ship.
- If you’re still working on the Board questline, Sophia Akande will ask you to turn Phineas in while on your ship. Don’t commit to anything and you would be able to start the quest Long Distance. Regardless of your decisions up to this point, from this moment on you will have Kept Secret But Not Forgotten, where your decisions will directly affect the oncoming ending of the story.