The City and the Stars

unreliable quest icon the outer worlds wiki guide 300px
Previous Radio Free Monarch
Next Kept Secret But Not Forgotten
Location Phineas Welles' Lab
Rewards 142000xp
The Board Reputation Down
Access to The Hope

The City and the Stars is one of the Main Quests in The Outer Worlds. Main Quests are those that must be completed in order to advance the main story and progress the game.


Now that Phineas knows Minister Clarke's been hoarding dimethyl sulfoxide in Byzantium, he just needs you to get to the city to steal it. Easy.

The City and the Stars Objectives

  • Meet with Phineas's Contact
    Phineas has an associate who can help you locate Minister Clarke. This person works at the Byzantium docks.
  • (Optional) Speak to the Minister's Guards
    Some of Minister Clarke's guards hang out at a local bar. One of them might be able to provide some information regarding Clarke's residence.
    Mayfield, one of the Minister Clarke's guards, has a key to the estate. He's aggressively celebrating his promotion with Spectrum Vodka.
    You gave Mayfield a Spectrum Vodka, and he's acting pretty tipsy. A couple more and you could probably get him very drunk.
    One more Spectrum Vodka ought to do Mayfield in.
    Mayfield's heading to the bathroom. This is your chance to grab his key "Minister's Estate Key".
    You acquired "Minister's Estate Key" to Minister Clarke's residence from Mayfield.
  • (Optional) Retrieve the Minister's Package from HPS
    You've learned that the minister sometimes receives packages from HPS. If you showed up at his residence with a package for him, the guards might just let you in.
  • Speak to Minister Clarke
    Minister Clarke spends almost all of his time at his estate, which is under heavy guard. He may be hard to reach, but he's apparently been hoarding the colorny's reserves of dimethyl sulfoxide.
    You snuck into the mail room of HPS and stole the minister's package.
  • Investigate the Chairman's Office
    Minister Clarke knows nothing about the dimethyl sulfoxide and explained that Chairman Rockwell has actually been keeping him under house arrest.
    Clarke is certain Rockwell is behind the purchase of the chemicals.
    The Maintenance tunnels beneath Byzantium connect to the Acropolis District.
  • Retrieve the Dimethyl Sulfoxide
    You've learned that dimethyl sulfoxide is at the Ministry of Accuracy and Morale along with whatever Chairman Rockwell is working on.
    Caroline, a scientist at the Ministry of Accuracy and Morale, has an ongoing feud with Theodore, one of her coworkers.
    You found an empty canister. There should be a way to transfer the dimethyl sulfoxide into it.
  • Return to Phineas
    Now that you have the dimethyl sulfoxide, rendezvous with Phineas at his lab to plan your next move.


The City and the Stars Walkthrough

This quest is obtained automatically by completing Radio Free Monarch. Travel to Byzantium and Ellie will be by the exit door, ready to grant you the quest The Low Crusade. You can also ask her about the city and find out more about her.

Go down the ramp outside the ship and right to meet Carmen Imagawa. She'll inform you of the next steps and you'll earn 22500xp. She will also tell you that you can swipe a security key from a guard relaxing at a local pub. Ask her about Byzantium, and she'll share that she joined the movement because she has noticed something off: things are not getting repaired anymore, and people from out of system are never seen.

Go up the nearby lift to enter the city. You'll come across Maverick Johnston, accept his offer to gain the quest At Central.

Continue toward the tavern and go into Billingsly's House of Inebriation. You can talk to Mr. Billingsly for some insight into the thoughts of the wealthy, talk to the Bartender Mechanical (you should buy 3x Spectrum Vodka for 58 bits each) or head straight toward Guard Mayfield, who is rather drunk.Chat him up and he'll talk about a key, and you can buy him a drink - give him the Spectrum Vodka you bought, and continue until he feels sick and goes to lay down nearby. Once he lays down, close the door and loot the Minister's Estate Key (and anything else you want). You'll get 22500xp.

Go toward the minister's residence and you will hear someone complaining. Look for Hortense Ingalsbee and talk to her to get the quest: Why Call Them Back From Retirement? and the quest item Docking Bay Terminal Codes.

After this, continue toward the minister's mansion and talk to the guard by the door. He will reveal they are expecting a delivery, but he will not let you in. You can go get the package from a nearby office near where Giles Molina is looking for his sprats. Talk to him and accept the quest Cupid of the Laboratory, and obtain the Sprat Collection Crate quest item.

Go into the Halcyon Parcel Service shop, wait for the guard to move, and lockpick your way into the storage room. Pick up Parcel for Minister Clarke and head back to the front door, you can walk right in. Go up to the second floor and you can talk to Minister Clarke, ask about the dimethyl sulfoxide and he will think you want drugs. Press the issue, saying he has ordered them, and he will conclude Chairman Rockwell must have done so. He will then reveal he is under house arrest and has been so for years. He will advise to look for details on the chairman's office in HHC headquarters. Ask how to get there and you'll get 22500xp.

Clarke reveals the HQ is heavily guarded, but there might be a maintenance tunnel access point. He will give you an access card that takes you to the executive suite (Receive Minister's HHC Access Card quest item). Clarke will also ask you to use Rockwell's access to message Earth. This unlocks the task: The Lying Earth, and gets you a cartridge with details on corruption on mismanagement: Minister Clarke's Data Cartridge.

If you've completed Balance Due you will have access to the HHC building and won't need to use the Maintenance Tunnels. You can also skip the tunnels by walking to the front door and bribing the guard for 2000 bits. Once inside the HHC building go straight ahead and talk to Guard Bachmayer. You'll take a lift heading to Percival Platt - he has nothing important to say so go left and unlock the door with Minister's HHC Access Card. You can print the keycard at the terminal to gain the Ministry of Accuracy and Morale Key. You can also send Minister Clarke's message completing the Lying Earth quest and earning you a small amount of Negative Reputation with The Board.

Once you have the key, head back out. Speak with Percival Platt and you can Lie (65) to him to get him to return to his desk. Head down the elevator and out the front door, or fast travel to the Acropolis District. Head to the locked door now on your left and use the key to open it. Head into the Ministry of Accuracy and Morale.

Alternatively, if you can't get the key, go to Carmen for help and she'll sneak you in an airtight shipping container. You can promise to haunt her later if you don't survive the trip.

Once inside head for the restricted door on your right, if you have the Key you can Intimidate (70) or Lie (100) to get past Guard Holte. Or you can just go around. There is also a UDL Identity Cartridge that you can find in a locked door guarded by a Corporate Officer. There is also a terminal you can Hack (47) that will update your quest and learn that Caroline has a feud going with Theodore at the Ministry of Accuracy and Morale.

Speak with Caroline Endecott on the second floor and ask her about Theodore Isaacs or Science (70) to keep her talking. You can Lie (1) to get her to open the door to the lab for you. Head down the elevator, and head into the restricted area. There is another UDL Identity Cartridge in the lockeroom if you didn't grab the other one.

If you head up the elevator this another terminal you can Hack (68) to open the containment cells, having the test subjects kill the guards. If you follow the red line and enter Animal Testing, you can encounter Giles, and, if you've helped him before, he'll give you the key to the high-clearance chemical storage. Follow the yellow line to make your way to the Dimethyl Sulfoxide, and do so quickly so you don't have to fight everyone. Once you get there you'll find an empty container and you'll need to transfer the Dimethyl Sulfoxide to it. Use the terminal nearby to transfer all or 26.37% of it then pick up Full Dimethyl Sulfoxide Canister. If you transfer all of it everyone in the tanks will die, your choice here will affect how much gas Phineas has to work with when reviving colonists post-game. You do have to transfer all of it if you want to save all colonists. You will gain 22000xp. You can also read details on the experiment. Steal the Dimethyl Sulfoxide and head through the barred door nearby and up the elevator. Then head back to Phineas Welles.

If you have not betrayed Phineas to The Board: Once you are aboard The Unreliable, you'll get a message from Sophia Akande. She will say that she was impressed by your work, and mention that you have saved her work (if you cut off power to Edgewater during Comes Now the Power). She wants to negotiate to convince you to turn Phineas in, and says he's an obsessive Psychopath using you and harming the colony. If you remain impartial, you'll receive the quest Long Distance.

Return to Phineas and talk to him, you will learn that he knew about the starvation problem, and he wanted to unfreeze The Hope to have the colonists help solve the problem. He says The Board is instead planning to kill The Hope colonists and turn the vessel into a prison for the Halcyon residents who will be frozen.

If your Science and Engineer is over 40, you can propose a micro-jump within the system to get The Hope by Phineas Welles. You'll gain 22000 XP for the step and 142000xp for completing the quest and Negative Board Reputation for doing this, and gain the quest: Kept Secret But Not Forgotten.


  • Your choices during this quest affect the Ending.


The City and the Stars Rewards

Unlocks quest: Kept Secret But Not Forgotten

Other Rewards: 142000xp, The Board Reputation Down, access to The Hope.


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    • Anonymous

      To maximize XP, before entering Clarke's estate, you can both get the guard drunk and take his key (22500 xp), and talk to Clarke's front door guard to learn about the package (sorry, PARCEL) delivery. You can break into the post office if you haven't already for the lockpick xp (but don't steal clarke's parcel) then go talk to the clerk at the front desk and persuade (41) or intimidate (41) for some extra xp to receive the parcel for another 22500 xp. If you talk to the guard again, he'll unlock the door for you, and this way you also don't have to use your holographic disguise while wandering about inside his house, looting it of all but the kitchen sink. I couldn't figure out how to lockpick the front door without the guard noticing, even when his back was turned or with an extra 2.5m lockpicking distance helmet on. Lockpicking it will grant 2.9k xp though. Killing him stealthily can avoid becoming hostile to other citizens and guards if you one-shot stealth sneak-attack him from TTL. But you still take a rep hit from the board.

      • Anonymous

        I've gone through the game over a half dozen times and just now discovered the [Hack 100] on the Chairman's terminal for the stowaway route, I love it. The interesting thing about terminal skill checks is that there's no UI setting to show unreachable ones like for dialogue so you really won't know they're there unless you're somewhat specialised.

        • Anonymous

          You can also do the Ministry of Accuracy and Morale portion of this a different way. Instead of just walking through the front door, talk to Carmen and she can sneak you into the ministry in a cargo shipment (may require that you hacked Rockwell's terminal to know of the shipment?) Once inside, find Giles Molina in his lab and if you've completed his quest (Cupid of the Laboratory) he'll give you a keycard to the Hibernation Lab. From there, sneak through to the Containment Lab and head up the staircase at the rear. From the terminal there you can open the containment cells, which will cause the subjects to attack the guards in the Central Lab and should help clear the way for you to sneak through into the Hibernation Lab and get the Dimethyl Sulfoxide. This way is possible without obtaining a UDL Identity Cartridge.

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