Characters: Fallout New Vegas The Courier
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.
"Your face does the thinking - two to the skull, yet one gets up. Odds are against you... but they're just numbers after the two-to-one."
- The Forecaster's comment on the Courier
"It appears that you are both the messenger and the message."
- Legate Lanius
"Rule of the Caravan Wastes: Do not fuck with the man who delivers your mail."
- Rose of Sharon Cassidy
The Courier was just a regular schmuck
trying to make a living delivering packages before being ambushed by Benny and several Great Khans while delivering a particular
package: a Platinum Chip. They take two shots to the head but somehow manages to survive. The story is driven by the Courier's attempts to understand the meaning behind the attack and the significance of the Platinum Chip. Ultimately, they get to decide the future of the entire Mojave wasteland.
- Action Survivor: After surviving two shots to the head, you proceed to become one of the most dangerous and influential individuals in the entire Mojave Wasteland.
- And the Adventure Continues: Regardless of the ending you get, it is made clear that the Courier's romps through the Wasteland are far from over. It's even an option in the NCR ending dialogue. Note that the adventure doesn't actually continue; game's over once you hit the ending. Sadly, this wasn't the original plan.
- Anti-Villain: Siding with the Legion but maintaining Good Karma probably pushes you into this.
- Anything That Moves: Men. Women. Robots. Ghouls. Yeah, it's an option. With the appropriate Perks, you can even hit on your own disembodied brain. It's appropriately horrified.
- The Atoner: Can convince Ulysses that they can make up for what happened to the Divide by turning the Mojave into the potential New World "nation" that the Divide was working towards.
- Badass: Oh, most definitely.
- Empowered Badass Normal: In Old World Blues most of the Courier's vital organs are extracted in replaced with advanced cybernetics, granting you resistance to damage, chems and super human strength. Even before then, you can become more than human with the use of implants and power armor.
- Badass Gay: If you go for the Confirmed Bachelor or Cherchez La Femme perks.
- Badass Grandpa: The age of your character can be adjusted during creation, allowing the Courier to be one of these.
- Badass Longcoat: Seen wearing one during the last slides of the Lonesome Road ending.
- Badass Normal: At first, the Courier is just an ordinary wasteland survivor... who takes two bullets to the head, and all it does is piss them off (and maybe cause some brain damage; you can't have everything).
- Badass Pacifist: If you go for the Pacifist Run.
- Cultured Badass: During Silus' interrogation, a Courier with high-intelligence can reveal not only a familiarity with Latin, but prove to be knowledgeable enough to be able to quote Virgil and Cicero.
- Handicapped Badass: Having your limps crippled. Especially in Hardcore mode if you choose to limp and fight your way back to town instead of fast travelling to have you healed.
- Badass Boast: Even their introduction can become one;
- Big Good/Big Bad: in the Wild Card path, the Courier can be either depending on karma: either the one individual trying to bring true freedom to the Mojave, or an Evil Overlord wannabe and the bane of civilization.
- Bi the Way: Potentially.
- Blind With Out Em: Any Courier with the Four Eyes trait.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The Courier can invert this when dealing with Benny and Jessup, since they'll freak out when seeing you even if you completely disregarded what happened in Goodsprings and only ran into them by accident.
- You can also play it straight in Lonesome Road, by telling Ulysses that the delivery of the package that destroyed the Divide was just like any others. Played even more straight as until Ulysses reveals what happened there, the Courier genuinely had no clue what destroyed the Divide.
- Card-Carrying Villain: You can be one if you wish.
Arcade: (after you tell the Enclave remnants to support the Legion) What the hell is wrong with you? Do you want New Vegas to become the slaving capital of the world!?
Courier: Actually, yes, I want it to become the slave capital of the world.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Have a high enough unarmed skill, and your bare hands can literally punch limbs off or even reduce low-level enemies to chunks of meat.
- The Chessmaster / Magnificent Bastard: High Intelligence and Speech-based Couriers, as well as those who take the Independent path.
- Cool Old Guy/Cool Old Lady: If you put the age slider up to its maximum.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: The Wild Wasteland trait makes you see things quite a bit differently... but even if you don't have it, they can still can come up with quite a few outlandish trains of thought. (Particularly in failed speech-checks.)
Veronica: Do you know anything about the Brotherhood of Steel?
The Courier: I've heard they shoot lasers from their eyes!
- Courier: Well, whaddya know! The main goal of the first half of the game is completing your delivery (which you can even get paid five times your original amount for with a high enough Barter skill).
- Curiosity Is A Crap Shoot: Ulysses calls you out on this in Lonesome Road.
- Cursed with Awesome: In Old World Blues, you get your brain, heart, and spine surgically removed by Dr. Dala. However, in response you get replacements that work even better.
- Cyborg: Becomes one in Old World Blues. To a lesser extent, can be upgraded with implants at the New Vegas Medical Clinic.
- Darkhorse Victory: In the Wild Card path.
- Deadpan Snarker: Some dialogue options, of course.
- Determinator: Gets shot in the head at point-blank range and buried alive in a shallow grave. Two days later, one very annoyed Courier wakes up and decides to track the shooter across the entire Mojave, before the brain damage has had a chance to settle in. When you meet him, Caesar says this trope is why he took notice of you — when you want to do something, you get it done.
- Disappeared Dad: A male Courier with the Lady Killer perk is apparently this, or at least thinks he might be. When meeting the Lonesome Drifter and learning that he is from Montana and that his father was absent for most/all of his life, you have the option to ask, rather nervously, if he is 17 years old.
- The Ditz: If played with a low intelligence stat, anyway.
- Genius Ditz: If you somehow manage to put in points in Science/Medicine while being an Idiot Hero.
- With the Luck statistic being deconstructed in NV, a Courier with high luck and low intelligence is a Genius Ditz as well. They're essentially a master at calculating odds and variables, and pushing events to their favor, while being dim when it comes to everything else.
- At one point, you can act perform brain surgery. This takes either a lot of skill in Medicine, or a high Luck stat. With the latter, you can admit that you had no idea what you were doing, but succeeded anyway.
- If you're one of those people who feels the need to exhaust every dialog option (indicated by the option 'graying out', though still selectable), you'll end up asking a lot of questions to the same people repeatedly. A small number of NPCs will even take note of this.
Raul: That's what I love about you, boss, your firm belief that one day you'll actually remember things people tell you.
- The Drifter: The Courier is quite a veteran of the trail, having traveled all over California and parts of Nevada, even having, if some optional dialogue is to be believed, made some detours to Utah, Illinois, and Montana.
- Doom Magnet: Ulysses sees the Courier as a kind of harbinger of mayhem, destruction, and change wherever he or she goes. He's not exactly wrong.
- The Dragon: You can be this to Mr. House or Caesar, if you so wish.
- Dragon with an Agenda/The Starscream: If you suddenly decide to go for the Wild Card ending while in theirservice.
- Dragon-in-Chief: If you are in the service of Mr. House, you'll be going around doing all the work for him. And you can design your character to be as intelligent and lucky as he is. If you help him gain control of New Vegas with an evil character, during the ending the narrator will reveal that the only reason why he is keeping you around is because he's terrified of your retaliation, should he cross you.
- The Dreaded: The Courier is this to their enemies.
- The Powder Gangers even refer to the Courier as "The Grim Fucking Reaper".
- With the Terrifying Presence perk, this is taken Up to Eleven.
- Even your allies can be terrified of the Courier, should you take certain "old-fashioned" ways of completing quests. Like freeing slaves by murdering every single other person in the compound. Or, apropos of little, announcing that you killed a person with an undertone of daring your audience to do something about it (they won't).
- Face Heel Revolving Door: You're free to swing your Karma Meter whichever way you like. One of the top-level perks in Lonesome Road (a set of three) is awarded based on your karma. If you're very good or very evil, you can take it for a significant combat bonus while resetting your karma. The bonus varies depending on the extreme.
- Fingerless Gloves: You can wear them with many of the outfits, in both one or two-gloved varieties.
- Foe Yay: In-Universe. A female courier has a lot of very good reasons to hate Benny and want to watch him die. That does not prevent her from potentially sleeping with him. Even he is initially freaked out by this.
- The Fool: It is fully possible to play the game doing things that don't make any sense at all and still somehow manage to do far better than you would have otherwise, especially with a high enough luck stat. Raul clearly believes this of you.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Played straight, subverted or averted depending on play throughs. Evil characters with the Four Eyes trait, certainly apply. Neutral or Good karma? Generally averted. Good players with a Legion alignment are a brilliant subversion.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: You start off as just a package courier and by game's end you could be king/queen of New Vegas, or have decimated the Legion, the NCR, a half-dozen small communities, or all of the above. Alternatively, just ask Benny.
- Or ask Ulysses, who watched as the Courier unknowingly damned the community of the Divide from a potential God-send for the wasteland to a literal Hell on Earth.
- Genius Bruiser: With high Strength/Endurance and Intelligence.
- Gentleman Thief/Classy Cat-Burglar: High charisma and sticky fingers.
- Going Postal: The whole plot gets started with the Courier having a really bad day at work.
- Grandma/Grandpa What Massive Hotness You Have: With Lady Killer/Black Widow perks and an aged Courier, you can basically invoke this in the people you meet.
- Had To Be Sharp: While this technically applies to everyone in the Fallout universe, the Courier's chosen profession literally involves walking through the hotile wastelands, often completely by themselves.
Cass: Rule of the Caravan Wastes. Don't fuck with the guy who delivers your mail.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: Played with; regardless of the name you pick you're almost invariably referred to as "The Courier" or "Courier Six".
- Your chosen name will sometimes appear in written dialogue, but never in the verbal dialogue. Alas the limitations of pre-recorded voice acting.
- All that Ulysses will call you is "Courier", treating it as a title. Though he probably doesn't know your real name anyway.
- The Hero: You can choose from a variety of different flavors!
- Action Hero: Get a duster and a hat, load up with revolvers, lever-action rifles and the appropriate perks, you become a gunslinging cowboy. Or take tons of drugs, grab an assault carbine or light machine gun and be Rambo.
- Anti-Hero: When you don't feel like being nice after doing the right thing. One of the reputation ratings you can get is even named Dark Hero. You will most likely be or become this, thanks to the game's strict Grey and Gray Morality
- Barbarian Hero: If you prefer getting up close and ignoring swaths of gunfire.
- Byronic Hero: "Fuck everybody else, it's all about me!"
- Guile Hero: Not being a One-Man Army, you talk, charm, reason and sneak your way through trouble if at all possible.
- Idiot Hero: Sometimes you'll need a Hypercompetent Sidekick, but you do surprisingly well for such a dimwit.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: If you are ultimately good but enjoy pickpocketing or stealing things, you may come under this.
- Magnetic Hero: Getting high fame in the various minor factions allows you to recruit them to aid your chosen faction during the final battle at Hoover Dam. Or in the Wild Card ending, use their loyalty to you to turn them against both the NCR and the Legion instead.
- Pragmatic Hero: You want to solve the situation as logically as possible, regardless on how people will think.
- Science Hero: Could be a combination of Action Hero and Guile Hero with more practicality, or maybe you just like melting your foes into goo. You can also hack automatic defenses and turn them against your enemies.
- If you have Good or Neutral Karma you become this by the end of "Old World Blues", with the epilogue stating that the Courier would become the protector of the technologies of Big MT until said technologies were needed to help others.
- Terror Hero: The Terrifying Presence perk. Some say keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but why do that when you can keep all of them living in constant fear of what you might do?
- I Am Who?: The DLC's hint towards the Courier being more special than they appear to be, given that they appear to have a relationship with Ulysses. Finally revealed, as the Courier was the specific one that Ulysses watched over as they helped the settlement at the Divide. Until the destruction of the Divide that killed everyone except Ulysses.
- I'm a Humanitarian: If you so choose, you can take this as a perk. Can be taken to Extreme Omnivore levels with another.
- Implacable Wo/man: You trudge across half the Mojave Wasteland to find the man who shot you. Even Caesar applauds your tenacity.
- Karma Houdini: You can steal and murder and get away with it if you're careful not to be seen. You can also commit heinous acts against factions and still associate with them as long as you have a means to raise your reputation back up. You can kill every Legion member you come across on your way to New Vegas, then you get the Mark of Caesar, pardoning you of all crimes and inviting you to a private audience with Caesar himself.
- Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge: The good karma ending of Old World Blues states that the Courier went on to serve as protector of The Big Empty for many years, releasing beneficial technology to aid in the development of the Mojave, on an as-needed basis.
- Also should the Courier decide to not inform the NCR about the Archimedes II and instead chose to rewire the Helios One power-plant to provide free electricity for the entire Mojave Desert. An agent from the Followers of the Apocalypse is also there and seeks you help in hiding the destructive potential of the plant from the NCR and the Legion.
- The Brotherhood of Steel remains in this role, but Veronica's story revolves their decay from preserving the knowledge of the old world to hiding that knowledge and keeping technology from everyone else.
- Liberty Over Prosperity: The Wild Card ending has the Courier create an independent New Vegas for this reason, believing that people of the Mojave deserve to control their own destiny rather than be ruled by another. No Gods, No Masters.
- Made of Iron:
- You survived being shot in the head twice and then being buried.
- Also, with an implant, two level perks, and two DLC perks, you can have a naked DT of 13.2, which is higher than most light armor.
- Memetic Badass: In-Universe. After a while, you have to simply mention you're "The Courier" for the enemy to get nervous.
- The first time players will probably notice this is the reaction of Boxcars, who's one of two survivors of the Legion's razing of Nipton. Boxcar has survived the Legion having decapitated a quarter of the town, crucifying the rest, and as he came second in their lottery, they left him alive but crippled. But even all that doesn't scare him as much as seeing the Courier walk in.
- The end of Lonesome Road counts, too. When you walked in, the locals - mutated soldiers and horrifying freaks of nature - harassed you to no end. When you walk back out, they keep their distance out of either respect or fear.
- This is the whole reason the Courier is courted by Caesar and the NCR shortly after arriving on the strip — after hunting your would-be killer across the desert and waltzing into the Lucky 38 like you owned the place, they want you on their side. Caesar in particular is especially impressed if you kill Benny and House before meeting him.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: In Lonesome Road, it turns out that by delivering a certain package from Navarro to the Divide, the Courier inadvertently activated the ICBMs hidden underground, destroying the thriving settlement there, and instilling Ulysses with some twisted ideas about how a single person could determine the fate of a nation.
- Mildly Military: If you side with the NCR. You do numerous missions for them, some of which include slaughtering entire armies, but you're still officially considered a civilian (Mr. New Vegas' broadcasts refer to you as a "civilian contractor"). They also put you in charge of NCR forces at several points in the game and give you some high level NCR armor (and a beret that designates the owner as an officer) and weapons. Additionally, a high NCR rep lets you boss around several NCR officers. Examples:
- If you get "Accepted" reputation with the NCR, you can acquire an emergency radio that lets you call in a Ranger or a Trooper to help you fight whenever you want. Said Ranger/Trooper will be under your command and follow you around and heal after fights, just like a companion.
- The final section of "Restoring Hope" involves you commanding an NCR squad (usually about four troopers, not including an extra one you may have called with the radio) and leading them in the attack on Nelson. They'll follow you on path you choose: frontal assault or ambush through the mountains.
- A squad of six Veteran Rangers are explicitly placed under your command in the final battle. You can get them to snipe, follow you, or just kill all the enemies in the area for you.
- In "Three Card Bounty", you can have First Recon follow you and kill one of the bounties.
- With a high enough NCR rep, you can simply demand additional troopers as part of the "No, Not Much" quest instead of doing favors for the commanders of the bases you visit.
- Morality Pet: The Courier could qualify as this for House, particularly if they end the game with high karma.
"Mr. House afforded [the Courier] every luxury at his disposal in the Lucky 38 out of gratitude and a quiet sense of pride for his choice in lieutenants."
- You can also be this to Dog/God if you're nice enough to him.
- Mouth of Sauron: Should you decide to side with Mr. House, you'll step into this role for him.
- Multi-Melee Master=/=Multi-Ranged Master: Right off the bat, the Courier can wield any weapon. Build him right, he can wield all of them proficiently.
- Multiple Choice Past: The player can choose a number of details regarding their past, such as their age, their relationship with their mother, and their familiarity with the Brotherhood.
- Mysterious Past: Much of your character's history is left up in the air in the main game. In dialogue you can infer you impregnated a woman in Montana in 2263 and you've visited Utah and New Reno, but mostly you're a blank slate — in sharp contrast to the three main series Fallout games where your past is known and relatively benign. Being shot might have affected your memory.
- Some optional dialogue with Veronica can even imply the Courier doesn't know where they were born.
- The DLCs then subvert this, especially Lonesome Road. Exhaust all the dialogue options you can with people, because it turns out you've been shaping the fate of the Mojave for a long time even before the game began and you were hired by House. You just never realized how big an impact you were making.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Nice job single-handedly destroying the Mojave's greatest, most promising civilization and turning it into an irradiated, stormy hellhole, Courier. In all fairness, the storms are the result of something else, and the Courier could not have known what was about to take place. Also, one has to wonder how much of this is Ulysses simply glorifying that which he lost.
- Not So Different: To Benny of all people, if you pursue the Independent Path. You're even using his plan.
- Odd Friendship: Most of the Courier's companions are weird. They range from a suicidal military sniper to a schizophrenic Ax-Crazy nightkin to a Mormon missionary and former Legion legate.
- Omnicidal Neutral: It is an option in the Wild Card ending; you can collect the weak and destitute factions under your banner or crush them and rule yourself.
- Especially if you stack it with the latter above, in Lonesome Road, you can choose to launch nuclear missiles against NCR and Legion's only pathways to the Mojave and thus leaving them to slowly choke to death from the lack of a trade routes (in NCR's case). Yikes.
- One-Man Army: If you level up enough, you don't need anyone besides you and your weapon of choice. People lampshade how the Courier seems to be a force of nature, being able to do the impossible, most noticeably if the player chooses to kill Caesar or President Kimball. And by the end of the game, you've single-handedly tipped the balance of power in the Mojave for your faction of choice and ensured their conquest.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Downplayed; you can mention your name in your own dialogue, and certain characters will know who you are, but of course, the current technical limitations of voice acting means that they will never call you anything but "Courier" out loud. The Courier sometimes does have the option to simply introduce him or herself solely by the nickname/job title.
- Only Sane Man: In Old World Blues. Says something that you're this even if your Intelligence is less than three.
- Really Gets Around: Even better with a female character. With the Black Widow perk, you can flirt/sleep your way in to almost anything. (Cherchez Le Femme makes you attractive to women too. Both perks have male counterparts, though Ladykiller is marginally less useful than Black Widow.)
- Rebel Leader: In the "Independent" path.
- Rebellious Spirit: The Independent path in a nutshell, particularly since you'll likely be betraying more than one of the factions you've reached high approval with.
- Sixth Ranger: You can be this to the NCR or the Legion if you join them: you operate outside the basic command structure but are recognized as the reason they gained control of the Mojave.
- Shrouded in Myth: Played with. While some NPCs recognise and are aware of the things the Courier has done, there are those who either don't believe the Courier was responsible or dismiss the various stories as little more than rumour.
- Possibly averted by Mr New Vegas, who only ever refers to the Courier by name once when reporting this miraculous recovery in Goodsprings. It's left vague whether he's aware or simply doesn't acknowledge that the lone civilian responsible for most of the other current news in the Mojave happens to be the same person.
- Ulysses' dialogue suggests that his obsession with the Courier has essentially mythologised them in his eyes.
- Smarter Than You Look: If you pass intelligence checks with some people, they'll remark how you're "not as dumb as you look".
- Even with high Intelligence, Raul still treats the Courier as if they were a moron.
- Smug Snake: There are certainly dialogue options available.
Oliver: Do you seriously think you have what it takes to build a nation? Carve out a frontier, train troops, build roads, and create towns?
Courier: My sycophants tell me "Yes".
- Summon Bigger Fish: The Courier can convince the Brotherhood of Steel, Enclave Remnants, Great Khans and the Boomers to take part in the Battle of Hoover Dam, on the side of their chosen faction.
- The Independent Path has the Courier ultimately turn the Securitron army on both the NCR and Legion, kicking both factions out of the Mojave and ensuring the region remains free from conquest or annexation.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: A Male Courier with the Ladykiller Perk can invoke this when nervously asking if the Lonesome Drifter, who has travelled from Montana to the Mojave looking for his father, wouldn't happen to be exactly 17 years old? When he replies he isn't, he asks why the Courier is so interested in knowing his age.
- 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Shot in the head at close range, twice, and buried in a shallow grave at the very beginning of the game. Naturally, being the Player Character, they get better, though some quick work on the part of an escort robot and the local doctor, along with being the Fallout universe, could affect the outcome. note
- Token Good Teammate: The only character in Dead Money who can be unambiguously good, since even Christine is willing to let your collar go off to take out Elijah. Alternatively, you can gleefully bully and manipulate your fellow prisoners.
- Took a Level in Badass: You're just a regular delivery boy/girl... then you take two shots to the head. The rest of the game sees you slowly solving every challenge you come up against.
- If you managed to pass all of Lanius' speech checks (requires 100 speech skill to pass all of them), he will comment that the two bullet holes in your head are making you strong.
- Too Dumb to Live: Pre-game. The Courier's route before being intercepted was to go through the canyon filled with cazadores.
- Transhuman: Thanks to a selection of cybernetic implants, especially a few that boost mental aspects. Taken to an even greater level by a popular PC Game Mod, Project Nevada.
- Unexplained Recovery: Sure, you know that Doc Mitchell saved you, but to everyone involved in your death, you're a ghost coming to haunt them. Played for all it's worth in dialogue choices:
- From one of the Great Khans present;
Jessup: What the hell, you're supposed to be dead!
Courier: I got better. / I'm a ghost, here to haunt you. Oooooohh!
- And Benny, the man who put you in the ground.
Benny: Hu- wha- you're... how are you alive?
Courier: I got better.
- When first meeting Veronica:
Veronica: You like like a mess. Where do you come from?
Courier: The grave.
Veronica: Huh. I take that back. You look pretty good, all things considered.
- Ungrateful Bastard: In a Dummied Out event that would have taken place if you chose to betray House by blowing up the hidden Securitron army while working for him, Victor would more or less call you this while confronting you.
Victor: You low-down snake! I wish I'd left you in the ground to rot!
- Unstoppable Courier: During the first half of the game as you track Benny to the Strip, you have the option of telling characters, up to and including Benny himself, that you have no interest in vengeance or payback, you just want your package back so you can complete the delivery. Other characters express various shades of disbelieving humor that finishing your job is more important to you than revenge on the man who shot you in the head.
Mr. House: You've been a very busy courier, haven't you? You take your obligation to deliver a package very seriously — an ethic for which I am grateful.
- Villain Protagonist: If you don't find the idea of playing as The Hero appealing, you don't have to be one; you can act like the biggest asshole ever to walk the wastes instead. Even more so than the evil versions of the Vault Dweller, Chosen One, and Lone Wanderer, as the main story at least pitted them against monsters who were planning to destroy most of the remaining human race. However, the Courier can hook up with the Legion to bring a nation of crucifying, rapist slavers to power, throw New Vegas into absolute anarchy and chaos with help from (but much to the regret of) Yes Man, join forces with Father Elijah and turn the Mojave in a completely uninhabitable, poisonous wasteland, and utterly obliterate several factions in horrible ways For the Evulz.
- Warrior Therapist: Among the eleven possible companions, only ED-E, an eyebot, and Rex, a cybernetic dog, do not seek guidance from the Courier. Dean Domino can also count, depending on how nice they are with him.
- The Courier can be something of a Big Brother Mentor/Cool Big Sis for Veronica. Her reliance on the Courier for emotional support and advice is especially apparent throughout her personal sidequest.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: The same way as Ulysses after completing Lonesome Road. Doubly so, you not only get a duplicate of Ulysses' duster, but you also get your own based on your end faction choice as a gift from Ulysses.
- Wild Card: You tip the balance of power in the Mojave Wasteland, whether to the NCR, Legion, House or yourself. This is even the name of story arc set around doing this.
- You Are Number Six: Is the sixth Courier who have been hired by Mr. House and is therefore called "Courier Six" by some characters.