Characters: Fallout New Vegas Lonesome Road
This is a partial character sheet for the Video Game Fallout: New Vegas. Visit here for the main character index. Subjective trope and audience reactions should go on the YMMV page.
open/close all folders
Voiced By: Roger Cross
"America sleeps. And until it's dead, I carry it. Just like I carried you. More than hope. Belief."
By far the most mysterious character in New Vegas. A courier who "wears an Old World flag on his back", Ulysses was a frumentarius and was originally intended as a Legion-aligned companion, but was cut from the game during development. His role is foreshadowed in Dead Money and Honest Hearts, heard in holotapes in Old World Blues and is the central figure of Lonesome Road.
The original Courier who was to carry the Platinum Chip and a man obsessed with the concept of a nation, he contacts the Courier to give him/her one final assignment: To meet him at The Divide with the promise of explaining why he chose not to deliver the Platinum Chip. He has a connection with the Courier that remains a mystery until Lonesome Road.
Provides examples of:
- Ace Custom: For whatever reason, his specialized Gas Mask gives you +50 Rad Resistance, double the amount from a normal gas mask. He gives you this gas mask as well as as a vanilla one. Even better, he gives you both his duster and your own version of his duster based on the faction you support, with varying effects and the symbol on the back being different for each one.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Directed at the Think Tank, which is enough to shake them out of their recursive loop. Also directed at the Courier over the events of the Lonesome Road. If you listened to all his tapes, you have the chance to throw it right back at his face to convince him to stand down.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?"
- The Atoner: If talked down, Ulysses will remain in the Divide, to keep the Marked Men and Tunnelers from invading the Mojave, and to try and help them if he can. He'll also provide a little support to you, in the form of items he's salvaged, general wisdom, and advice on how to deal with Lanius.
- Author Avatar: According to this interview, his views represent Chris Avellone's when it comes to the state of the Mojave and the West in the Fallout verse.
"The day I set my flag down, it'll be over my body or over a nation I believe in."
- Badass Longcoat
- Badass Native: A tribal from the Twisted Hairs. No less skilled.
- Badass Normal: He's just like you, simply a skilled and resourceful Courier.
- Although every single one of his SPECIAL scores is 10.
- Heartbroken Badass: He had considered leaving the Legion to start a new life at the Divide. That is, until the Courier brought that package from Navarro...
- Bait the Dog: Throughout most of the DLCs he seems to be a pretty decent guy, just weird and intimidating - he saved Christine from lobotomisation, and may have a good reason for his grudge with the Courier. Double Subverted. Walk through the Divide, and you find out that he wants to blow up the Long 15 for destroying his home. Whether or not you talk him down, after you beat him, he'll leave a footlocker with goodies and a wish of luck. And if you do talk him down, he'll spend the rest of his life at the Divide, defending the Mojave from Tunnelers and the Marked Men.
- Berserk Button: Just listen to him talking about how the White Legs copied his dreadlocks with no heed for the meaning...
- In general, he seems to have particular contempt for those who use symbols without understanding their meanings. It's one of the reasons he dislikes the NCR.
- He also despises ED-E. Listen to him spit the words "that machine."
- Back-to-Back Badasses: If you talk him down, the final battle will have the both of you, backed by medical Eyebots, absolutely MASSACRE all the Marked Men coming your way.
- Being Watched: Observant players have noticed that Ulysses is following the player, being one step ahead along the Lonesome Road. Behold!
- Big Bad: In the Lonesome Road.
- Bigger Bad: For the rest of the DLC, and to a degree the main game. Everything you'd done up to now was leading up to your final confrontation with him. All the fighting and plans of House, the Legion and NCR will amount to nothing if Ulysses fires those nukes. And in the end, you find out that he was the one who found Hoover Dam and brought the Legion to it.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the Big Empty, he saved Christine from becoming a Lobotomite in the Y-17 Medical Facility.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Inverted. He developed a dangerous obsession with The Courier over an incident which was, from The Courier's point of view, just an ordinary package delivery.
- Call Back: Ulysses mentions that Elijah will probably be killed in the Sierra Madre by someone smarter and tougher than he is...guess who?
- Another one is the fact that Ulysses basically created the events of Honest Hearts by teaching the White Legs how to use modern weapons and kill off New Canaan's allies in Utah by starving out their communities. The White Legs then "honored" Ulysses by taking his dreadlocks and making them part of their tribal traditions. He was not happy about that.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The earliest we hear about him is as just some random courier who turned down the Platinum Chip delivery. Turns out he played a big part in all the DLC in addition to being the Legion scout that found Hoover Dam. His very first appearance was in the deck of cards that came with the Collector's Edition, nearly a year before he finally appeared in game.
- The Chessmaster: First, he avoids taking the Platinum Chip job when he sees the Courier is alive-he figures the delivery and the Wasteland might kill them off. Then, he manipulates the Courier into coming to meet him in the Divide, bringing along the Eyebot that contains the codes he'll need to launch the nuclear missiles. And just in case the Courier managed to defeat him, he arranged for the Marked Men to come in and finish the job.
- Cold Sniper: While Old Glory is his signature weapon, he also carries a Anti-Materiel Rifle.
- Courier: Just like you.
- Crazy-Prepared: He has a footlocker with weapons, an audio log, and a duster with the faction symbol of your choice waiting for you, just in-case you best him (And you will). Think about that for awhile.
- Creepy Monotone: He rarely emotes. It's like it's all been wrung out of him.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy
- Death Seeker: In a sense. He's fully aware that his actions will bring down your wrath on his head and that he likely won't survive the encounter, but he doesn't seem to care as long as he can get his revenge before he dies. With all he's been through, seeing everything he believed in disgraced and/or destroyed, if he does want to die at your hands, it wouldn't be surprising.
- Defeat Means Friendship: If you manage to talk him down at the DLC's climax, post-LR he'll wander around the passage to Hopeville and give you anything of interest that he's scavenged from the Divide. He'll also have rather mellow conversations with you, and teach you how to make several useful campfire recipes.
- Even if you do kill him, he leaves you a package with a few gifts, and a final message effectively wishing you luck.
- Defector from Decadence: Eventually grew disillusioned with the Legion upon seeing the world progress without them.
- Demolitions Expert: He's responsible for blowing up the top half of the medical facility where Christine was imprisoned and he has Explosives as a tagged skill. Also, it is part of his philosophy with how to deal with the NCR and Legion. Destroying the Long 15 will cut the NCR from support and supplies, leaving those in stuck in the Mojave to face the Legion alone. He also destroys the Legion outpost of Dry Wells, his old home and where his tribe was destroyed and absorbed into the Legion.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The Courier unwittingly caused the destruction of the Divide (read: a prosperous but single town), so Ulysses is going to get his revenge by nuking half the Mojave.
- Dreadlock Warrior: Was once part of a tribe named the Twisted Hairs, who all wore their hair in dreadlocks. He's also one of the few characters in the game with the potential to rival The Courier's levels of Badass-ness.
- As noted above, he turned the White Legs into this. He was furious and sickened, as they came to represent what had happened to his own tribe, dreadlocks under the thumb and control of Caesar, setting him down the path he's on now.
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: An in-universe example; Ulysses is obsessed with finding a deeper meaning and belief in everything Courier Six does, because he can't accept that the destruction of The Divide was an accident.
- Mythology Upgrade: This obsession with the Courier has essentially mythologised them in his eyes, to the point where Ulysses treats their occupation as an actual title, making them not just a courier but "The Courier"; an unstoppable force of nature whose message is their ability to destroy entire worlds and leave chaos in their wake.
- Expy: As a courier wearing a United States flag, he shares a lot of similarities with The Postman.
- Fighting for a Homeland
- Final Boss: If you choose to fight him, he will not make it easy. He has 10 in every stat, can't be knocked down, a powerful gun, and a lot of health. That's on top of everything below.
- Flunky Boss: If you choose to fight Ulysses, you also have to deal with respawning eyebots and waves of Marked Men. If he's talked down however, he'll help you fight off the Marked Men with the eyebots as backup.
- True Final Boss: Almost all of the DLC is Foreshadowing towards the confrontation between him and The Courier, which finally happens in the Lonesome Road. And given the scope of his plans and his influences on the main game, he's arguably this to the entire game.
- Foil: To the Courier, your alignment not withstanding — Ulysses makes the parallels himself, noting that as you walked and helped shape the West and in doing so helped NCR carve a path to the Mojave, so did he walk the East and scout out the Dam for the Legion. During the DLC you walk in his footsteps, well, he's spent the time prior to the game walking in yours. He can be considered a full Evil Counterpart to an NCR-aligned Courier. As Ulysses himself says, he's "like you, and not like you, in all the ways that matter".
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: He's somewhere in between Choleric and Phlegmatic, for although he's generally very calm and collected, he has managed to gain the admiration of the Legion and the White Legs; he also possesses an apocalyptic grudge against the Courier.
- The Faceless: Wears a breathing mask on his face. Justified from both a technical and in-game standpoint. Technical, since the NPC-only version functions as a helmet that gives him his unique facial appearance and hair, albeit also adding a slight Uncanny Valley look; he never blinks, the mask hides his un-moving mouth, and his eyes glow slightly. The in-game justification is that the Divide has cases of residual radiation still in the environment, and the mask protects him from that.
- Here's◊ what he looks like without the gas mask. Notice how it looks like he has dark stubble around his mouth? That's because his unique face is technically considered a mask, which covers all the area not covered by the gas mask. Here's◊ what he looks like without it.
- Foreshadowing: His role is foreshadowed in each of the DLCs.
- Gas Mask, Longcoat
- Guttural Growler
- Heel-Face Turn: No matter the alignment, if you talk him down, he'll defend the Mojave from Tunnelers and Marked Men, as well as teach you recipes and hand you goodies from Hopeville.
- Hero of Another Story
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: He is only once, ever, given a passing mention in the main story, and even then he's never referred to by name. Only in the Lonesome Road does he finally make his appearance, and only at the very end do you meet him in person.
- Honor Before Reason: Why didn't he ever kill the Courier? Because Caesar left specific orders not to kill any Couriers.
- Hypocrite: He's disdainful of explosives in general, viewing them as a cowardly tactic of the NCR, and especially dislikes Hanlon for how he used them to defeat the Legion at the first battle for Hoover Dam. Thing is, Ulysses uses explosives extensively himself, first in blowing up the medical facility at Big MT, and in deciding to use nukes to destroy NCR, the Legion, and Mojave. He even has Explosives as a tagged skill.
- He calls the Courier out for causing so much damage through careless actions, most notably for destroying the Divide. However, he indirectly caused the crises of Honest Hearts and Dead Money, teaching the White Legs to use firearms and telling Father Elijah about the Sierra Madre (though he thought he was sending Elijah to "a special kind of hell", not helping him). He also came close to breaking the logic loop of the Think Tank with his Armor-Piercing Question, which would have resulted in them leaving the Big Empty, precisely what the player ends up averting due to the disaster it would be in Old World Blues.
- He chastises the Courier even though their role in Hopeville's destruction was accidental, while he willingly orchestrated the destruction of New Canaan despite it having no purpose other than personal spite on Caesar's part - which Ulysses himself knew. In fact, his logs reveal he ordered them to kill the children and the elderly. He may be drawing a distinction between destruction wreaked with intent and the Courier's oblivious blunder; Ulysses witnessed the death of New Canaan and took responsibility for it ("carrying their history," in his own words), while the Courier had no idea what occurred in the Divide. Still, there's some mighty peculiar values, fella.
- He also views assassinations and killing from a distance as a cowardly tactic, although he doesn't specifically say it's cowardly, you can just hear it in the tone of his voice when he says "I'll face my enemies, not kill from a distance like you." Yet he has an anti-material rifle as his primary weapon and has absolutely no problem in sniping the Marked Men from a distance while you wreck them at close combat.
- Implacable Man: He has over a thousand hit points. More than any human character in the game, and more than quite a few monsters too.
- Ironic Echo: Getting all his tapes allows you to throw all of his mistakes right at his face in order to convince him to stand down. Doubly so with the question that managed to get the Think Tank to suddenly stop operating on him: "Who are you that you do not know your history"?
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope
- Subverted if you convince him he's wrong.
- Kick the Dog: As a former Frumentarius, he's done this a lot, most notably in sacking New Canaan.
- If Ulysses knows the Courier cares about ED-E, when he takes control of the robot, he'll not only say he'll strip it down to basic components, but he'll do while while it's activated, just enough to be fully aware of it. However, ED-E is unharmed if you find and rescue him; Ulysses may have been trying to psyche the Courier out.
- Last of His Kind: Considers himself the last of the Twisted Hairs, after his tribe lost its identity to the Legion. Hurts even more after he sees the White Legs absolutely fail at trying to show him respect using the braids of his tribe.
- Meaningful Name: He named himself after Ulysses S. Grant, a general who turned two flags into one, but lost himself after doing so.
- And, for those not up on their history, Grant was a great general, but in his later life as a politician (i.e. - US President) he was mediocre by comparison, and Ulysses is alluding to how Grant willingly chose to leave a path he was good at walking for one he couldn't.
- Ulysses is also the Roman name for Odysseus, the legendary Greek hero who spent ten years trying to return to his homeland once more after the end of the Trojan War.
- It's also worth pointing out that Ulysses himself makes it known that, while he took his name from the historical Ulysses, he does see how someone could see otherwise at this point.
- Mercy Kill: His policy towards the Marked Men; until he can find a better way to help them, killing them is closer to mercy than murder.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Once he realized that he just ordered the brutal and unjustified extermination of a community of honest, devoted, and hard-working people, guilt started eating him up. Even moreso if you talk him down instead of killing him. Should you do so, he will spend the rest of his life watching over the Divide.
- Not So Different: He calls out Christine of being this compared to Elijah, as like him, she was incapable of letting go of the past. Thing is, neither is he. He even admits to it. And he has a similar motivation to "wipe the slate clean."
- Also, when training the White Legs, he felt that he'd become Not So Different from Vulpes Inculta, who did the same for his tribe only to betray them to the Legion.
- Playing the DLCs also shows that he's just as guilty of the same sins he's accusing the Courier of. Particularly that he kickstarts some potential major catastrophes through careless actions and never becomes aware of them.
- Omnicidal Neutral: He intends to start a series of events that will ultimately destroy civilization in the NCR, Legion, or the Mojave. All due to one package and an unsuspecting Courier.
- One-Man Army: Joshua Graham casually mentions that Ulysses wouldn't have needed a caravan to get to New Canaan, hence the Courier couldn't be him. He essentially alludes that he is this, considering the constant danger of a trip to Utah from the Mojave.
- Patriotic Fervor: Or so you'd think at first, given all his talk about flags and how America only sleeps. He actually wants to destroy the NCR and the Legion because they appropriate "Old World symbols" (America, in the case of NCR) without any real understanding of the history or meaning behind those symbols.
- Close examination of his character reveals him to be a rather weird case - he is a fervent patriot, but has no nation to which he wants to pledge his loyalty. He was going to try it with the Divide settlement, but that didn't end the way he'd hoped. If you've listened to the entirety of ED-E's backstory, you can tell him that there is another America out there (specifically, the Enclave), which gives him hope of a new nation and determined to see it through, even if it means saving your life.
- Pet the Dog: See his Big Damn Heroes moment above.
- Posthumous Character: As the DLCs can be played in any order, he can die before the player becomes aware of his involvement in anything else.
- The Rival
- Unknown Rival: Prior to the events of Lonesome Road, the Courier has never met him before. You may have heard of him, though; references to him are buried in the other three DLC campaigns, though Joshua Graham's talk of another courier who worked for Caesar is pretty hard to miss.
- Scary Black Man
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He was the original courier six meant to pick up the platinum chip, but when he saw the Courier's name on the list, he bailed.
- Sigil Spam: He often marks places he's been to with the Old World flag he's taken as his symbol. Of course, they also serve a practical purpose:
- Red marks indicate places filled with dangerous enemies.
- White marks indicate the correct path to proceed forward and generally safe areas.
- Blue marks indicate places where he's hidden supplies and other useful items.
- Simple Staff: Not only does he wear the colors of the flag, but he uses a flagpole with an eagle at the tip dubbed Old Glory as his signature weapon. It even earned him the nickname of "The Flag-Bearer" from the White Legs.
- Note also that it's a staff tipped with wings: a symbol of the Greek god Hermes, divine messenger of Olympus. Hmm.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: His leather Bad Ass Longcoat is lacking in the sleeves department.
- Starfish Language: His original tribe, the Twisted Hairs, as their name suggests, used the patterns of braids in their hair and the decorations woven into them as badges of honor and a way of communicating various things about themselves to other members of the tribe to such an advanced degree that it functioned as a kind of "language". So much so, in fact, that when the White Legs started copying Ulysses's hairstyle it makes him physically disoriented because, to him, it looks like insane gibberish.
- Stalker Without A Crush: His obsession with Courier Six.
- Status Quo Is God: Inverted. He hates this trope. To him, House is nothing but a ghost that needs to be put down because this trope is pretty much House's schtick.
- Stop Worshipping Me: His attitude toward the White Legs.
- Strange Syntax Speaker: Speaks mostly using sentence fragments, and habitually uses poetic, metaphorical word choices (such as by referring to the NCR and Legion as "the Bear" and "the Bull", respectively).
- Talking the Monster to Death: In true Fallout fashion, you can do this, either though a speech skill of 90 (and being very careful with your words) or by finding his holotapes and using his words against him.
- Tranquil Fury: His oddly calm and stoic demeanor does little to mask the seething contempt and rage boiling within him.
- Unreliable Narrator: He claims the Divide must have had a special place in the Courier's heart, thought the script notes in the GECK bluntly confirm he's actually just trying to convince himself.
- Unstoppable Mailman: He has a message for you, and you will get it, one way or another.
- Villain-by-Proxy Fallacy: A rare case where the Villain Has a Point, even if slightly. He blames the Courier for causing a nuclear explosion that destroyed the Divide. Now, the Courier did deliver a package that contained the nuke's launch codes, but from the Courier's point of view, it was just another package.
- Walking the Earth
- Warrior Poet
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: He wears the flag of the Old World on his back. After the DLC, he'll not only give you a version of it, he'll also give you your own duster with the flag representing what you fight for, with the Old World flag representing House.
- What Could Have Been: Chris Avellone set a six-point writing goal for the original Ulysses: 1) reinforce the faction reputation mechanic; 2) act as a sounding board to the Courier's involvement in the NCR/Caesar's Legion conflict; 3) be Legion-sympathetic and explain Legion backstory elements; 4) continually remind the player of Hoover Dam as the focus, since Ulysses was the frumentarius who discovered the Dam and NCR; 5) showcase myth elements; and 6) visual changes to his vest/flag based on the player's end faction alliance after Ulysses's companion quest. Parts of this was kept for the finalized Ulysses from Lonesome Road, but in different ways.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Whether or not you deserve it, he calls you out on your actions no matter what you do. Not even delivering the package to the Divide, the stuff you do in the main game. For instance, he'll call you a soulless coward if you have Neutral karma, side with House, and prefer guns over other weapons.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the worst possible way.
- Worthy Opponent: In the ending narration of Lonesome Road, he speculates that you saw him as such, and that this is also the rumor around the Mojave. After all, if you kill him, you give him a proper burial and drape him in the Old World flag... though he also admits that this could have been an insulting gesture.
- Writer on Board: While he criticizes you no matter what faction you side with, siding with the NCR makes his rant far more vitriolic and scathing, telling you outright that you're supporting "a lie" and promoting "stagnation" by supporting an Old World-styled government. Gee, wonder if Avellone is trying to tell us something?
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted with a vengeance. For Ulysses, killing the Courier is not nearly as important as confronting them.
- You Bastard: The entirety of the Lonesome Road is pretty much him hammering this onto you, especially if you support the NCR.
Voiced By: Jesse Burch
"At least I've got you to talk to, huh, ED-E?"
An Enclave scientist and the creator of ED-E, Whitley's logs are heard throughout the DLC.
Provides examples of:
- Badass Bookworm: He is a scientist, and can stand up to figures in power that would make others quiver.
- Fatherly Scientist
- Papa Wolf: Is very protective of his eyebots. The Courier even compares him to a father figure at certain points.
- Posthumous Character: While his exact fate isn't clear, Whitley is likely dead by the time of New Vegas, either having been executed on Autumn's orders or one of the many nameless casualties left by the Lone Wanderer and/or the Brotherhood of Steel's war against the Enclave in Broken Steel.
- Punch Clock Villain: Rather than being a Mad Scientist, Whitley cared deeply about his eyebots and was horrified by the lengths to which Colonel Autumn was willing to go.
- Remember the New Guy: At the most, Whitley was probably one of the nameless Enclave Scientists that the Lone Wanderer encountered and possibly killed at the end of Broken Steel.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Goes against the Enclave and tells ED-E to leave while he can rather than be scrapped and turned into Hellfire armor.
- Token Good Teammate: Seemingly for the Capital Wasteland Enclave.
"Pain makes for strange allies... the hate the Bear and Bull shared across the battlefield, now turned against the Divide. Few survived... intact."
When the Divide was destroyed, the NCR and Legion troops fighting over the region were caught in the crossfire. The intense radiation and scorching winds turned them into something greater than ghouls — marked men. United in their agony, they fight together to keep the Divide safe from any intruders, and that means you.
Provides examples of:
- BFG: At higher levels they break out the top-tier guns: the anti-material rifle, plasma caster, shoulder-mounted minigun, gatling laser, etc.
- BFS: The Legionnaire-type marked men wield weapons called the Blade of the West, fashioned after Legate Lanius's Blade of the East. One of the marked men leaders, Blade, uses such a weapon.
- Body Horror: The winds of the Divide have torn the flesh from their bodies, leaving them walking masses of exposed red muscle.
- Bonus Boss: Depending on your actions at the end of the DLC, you can access the Dry Wells and/or the Long 15. The former holds Gaius Magnus, the latter Colonel Royez.
- Chainsaw Good: Bonesaw, a marked man commander, fights with a chainsaw.
- Cool Mask: As symbols to hold on to, some Legionnaires wear crude masks fashioned after Lanius's.
- Elite Mook: This being the last DLC, they are among the toughest rank-and-file enemies in the game, with strong armor and very powerful weapons.
- Enemy Mine: Their suffering in the Divide united them in their hatred for it.
- Flaying Alive: All of the Marked Men have been flayed by the sandstorms of the Divide and kept alive by the radiation.
- Kill It with Fire: One of the unique marked men, Blister, has a flamethrower.
- More Dakka: Assault rifles, machine guns, miniguns, plasma casters and more fill up their arsenal. The commander Beast wields a shoulder-mounted minigun.
- The Power of Hate: What Ulysses attributes as what keeps them alive.
- Was Once a Man: The weather and radiation of the Divide would kill even a normal ghoul. They survived by becoming something even worse.
"They breed fast, hunt in groups, more than enough to bring down the strongest in the Mojave."
Before the Great War, some of Hopeville's people took shelter underground, and over the decades heavily mutated and devolved. When the Divide was destroyed, it released them to the surface.
Provides examples of:
- Achilles' Heel: Being they lived underground for centuries, they are spooked by bright light. Thus, flashbangs and flare guns can stun them.
- Bigger Bad: According to Ulysses, in a few years they'll make their way to the Mojave and will overwhelm it since they breed so fast and attack by tunneling.
- Fast Tunnelling: How they can appear without warning.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: They have glowing luminescent eyes.
- Humanoid Abomination: In the loosest sense of the word — they're barely even recognizable as being human once. They're also classified as abominations in-game.
- Lightning Bruiser: They move very fast and hit very hard.
- Spikes of Villainy: Have crests of spikes along their heads and shoulders.
- The Worf Effect: The first one you see, it runs out of a shipping container, leaving behind a headless deathclaw that was alive a moment earlier. Ulysses likewise tells you that even deathclaws are nothing before tunnelers.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Flashbang grenades paralyze them and leave them helpless, for a little bit anyway.
- Zerg Rush: It's not enough that they're individually very dangerous, but they attack in groups and will swarm you from all side.