A recreation of the hacking mini-game from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas written in Rust using ncurses.
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A recreation of the hacking mini-game from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas written in Rust using ncurses.



First, clone the repository.

$ git clone https://github.com/euclio/robco-term.git

OS X and Linux users have the choice between a native install and Vagrant (I recommend native). Windows users must use Vagrant.


If you don't want to bother installing dependencies, you can try running the game inside a Vagrant environment. The environment also provides cool-retro-term.

First, install Vagrant and VirtualBox. Then, open a terminal or command prompt inside the robco-term folder.

$ vagrant up

This will open a virtual machine and begin provisioning a simple Ubuntu environment. The game will be ready to play when you see "Robco Terminal" on the VM's desktop. Please note that this will take about 15 minutes and download about 4GB on the first run. You can track progress in your terminal.


This program requires an installation of stable Rust and cargo, and ncurses.

If you can't get rust or cargo from your friendly neighborhood package manager such as apt or homebrew, try this script from the official site:

$ curl -sSf https://static.rust-lang.org/rustup.sh | sh

Then, to install ncurses:


First, install homebrew. Then, open a terminal.

$ brew install homebrew/dupes/ncurses

Note: The standard OS X terminal doesn't support mouse events. You can still play the game using the keyboard, but if you want to use the mouse you can use iTerm2 or cool-retro-term, both of which can be installed through homebrew (as iterm2 and Caskroom/cask/cool-retro-term, respectively).

Linux (Ubuntu)

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install libncurses{,w}5-dev

Running the Code

$ cargo run --release

I recommend running the game in cool-retro-term to feel like you're actually getting your Science skill to 100.

$ cool-retro-term -e cargo run --release

Playing the game

A full description of how to play the hacking game can be found here.


It's probably easiest to use the mouse to select the password you want to guess. However, if you really want to feel like a hacker, you can also play the game with W A S D and Enter. If you're playing this on an ADM-3A, H J K L are also supported.


$ cargo run --release -- --help
    robco-term [options]
    robco-term (-h | --help)

    -h --help                       Show this screen.
    -d LEVEL --difficulty=LEVEL     Set difficulty of the game (default 5). Currently this only
                                    affects the length of potential passwords.


  • The game is pretty hard. Potential passwords are picked randomly from the system dictionary, meaning that most words have very few letters in common.
  • In the same vein, there is no filter on the potential passwords, so you might get some less than tasteful words.
  • This program is in no way meant to be an exact replica of the game. That said, I'd love any pull requests that improve the authenticity.
  • As of this writing, cool-retro-term does not support xterm-1003 mouse mode (cool-retro-term#251). robco-term will still work, but highlighting on hover will not.


  • Add animations
  • Add a graphical frontend (?)


I'm not affiliated with Bethesda, Zenimax, or Obsidian in any way, just to be clear. I made this as a labor of love, not to make any money!