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.
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Robert Edwin House
Voiced by: René Auberjonois
"I am Robert Edwin House, President, CEO, and sole proprietor of the New Vegas Strip. I oversaw this city's renovation starting from 2274 onward. The Three Families are my employees. Before the Great War of 2077, I was the founder, President and CEO of RobCo Industries, a vast computer and robotics corporation."A successful Pre-War businessman, Mr. House is the mysterious de-facto ruler of New Vegas, controlling the Strip and the city proper through his army of Securitrons. Before the Great War, Mr. House was an extremely intelligent and ruthless tycoon who foresaw the coming of the hostilities between the U.S and China and arranged it so that his beloved Vegas, along with himself, survived long after. Emerging after the remnants of civilization had reformed himself, Mr. House rules from within the Lucky 38 Casino and has wasted no time in setting up the city of New Vegas, working to exploit the factions interested in the Mojave.
Provides examples of:
- Age Without Youth: Thanks to his life support, Mr House is 261. He definitely looks his age, but his mind is as sharp as ever and he doesn't seem particularly concerned about his physical condition. Unless you disconnect him from the network and open his life support chamber, that is.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: To BioShock's Andrew Ryan. What makes the connection more amusing is that their voice actors are close friends, and have both starred in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in opposite roles. Mr House's voice actor, René Auberjonois, played the station's head of security who stringently maintains law and order. Andrew Ryan's voice actor, Armin Shimerman, was a opportunistic capitalist who highly values free enterprise. Both Mr House and Andrew Ryan are old-school free market capitalists who are obsessed with control. There is even a challenge which involves killing him with a golf club. The challenge is called "A Slave Obeys".
- Always Someone Better: In Old World Blues, Dr. 0 is intensely jealous of House for being a more successful roboticist while 0 is merely able to create knockoffs of his work.
- And I Must Scream: The player has the option to cut House off from his network but leave him alive. He'll eventually die due to his exposure, but he estimates it'll take a year, during which time he will be completely alone inside his life support capsule. If the player tells him this, he immediately begs you to just kill him.
- Anti-Villain / Anti-Hero: House wants to rebuild humanity back to the glory of the pre-War days, and to be the economic superpower and financier controlling it all, but he has no intent to oppress or abuse people, just to be their benefactor while they live comfortable lives. He engages in morally dubious acts to come to power, is very open to the idea of Pay Evil unto Evil, and controls the people via a system of Bread and Circuses. And as an overall, his actions are taken in the mindset of Pragmatic Villainy — he only does something if it helps him achieve his goals and has no interest in doing it if it won't, the positive or negative morality of such actions is irrelevant one way or the other. Thus, if he's good or evil falls down to personal opinion.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: He's not the strongest leader in the wastes, or the most charismatic, or the most experienced. What he is good at is calculating probabilities and predicting others' actions, at determining where the ball is going to land and having one of his mechanical minions in place to win big. Before the war, he saw the political situation deteriorating to the point where global war was inevitable. His calculations for when missiles would hit Las Vegas were off by less than 24 hours.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: He gained control over Vault 21 by challenging the gambling-obsessed Vault to a game of Blackjack and beating them. It's a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, since House has 10 Luck in his SPECIAL stats: any player who has played Blackjack while having 10 Luck knows that the game becomes unfairly slanted in their favor.
- Benevolent Boss: Some condescension while answering questions aside, he's much better at employee relations than either Caesar or Colonel Moore as unlike the others, he treats the Courier with respect as long as respect is shown in kind and they prove themselves useful. As long as his employees don't give him a reason to do so otherwise, he generally has a rather hands-off approach towards governing, leading the Omertas to refer to him as "Not-At-Home". In fact, he's the only boss open to the Courier's suggestions (he can increase your paycheck if you back up your argument, and will ask your opinion about the Omertas problem). Finally, complete his path with good karma and it's revealed he's very proud to have you as an employee, and gives you any amenity you could ever want.
- Berserk Button:
Mr House: Because they're ridiculous!
- The Brotherhood of Steel. He hates them with a passion and is not shy about letting you know it. Any other group he treats with either annoyance or disdain, but he'll rant at length about the Brotherhood. However, he has a good reason for this, as the Brotherhood have devolved into Knights Templar who actively confiscate technology from travelers they encounter, and House is reliant on his Securitron robots as his offensive forces, so it's very unlikely the Brotherhood would keep quiet if House moved to take over the Mojave while they were still around. He also considers them Too Dumb to Live after their fiasco at HELIOS One. Amusingly, his cultured and precise way of speaking briefly goes out the window when asked why he hates the Brotherhood:
- He will also get quite upset if you deny him the Platinum Chip in front of him, to the point that he'll just sic Securitrons on you if he finally has enough of your bullshit."Do you really think I'm going to let an upstart come into my home and ransom my property to me? I spent two centuries searching for the Platinum Chip! It's my invention, my property, mine! Now be a good courier and deliver it!"
- Big Bad Ensemble: For a Legion or NCR-aligned Courier, in tandem with the other faction.
- Big Good: He fancies himself as this. He isn't unambiguously "good", but fills this role to the people of the Strip, and the game's plot nudges the player into working for him, being that they begin as a hired courier for him seeking out his property and either go out of their way to contact NCR or the Legion or are only approached by them when they take notice of the player's work for House. And in contrast to NCR and the Legion, House's "faction" is just House himself directly giving orders to the player, and his personal power and influence makes him a target — in all three main questlines other than House's own, the player has to eventually get rid of him to proceed. He's also the man who had Victor save your life at the game's beginning.
- "Blackmail" is Such an Ugly Word: He's not a "dictator," he's an "autocrat." In practice, there isn't much difference between the two save for the negative cultural connotations of the former, which is probably the reason House prefers the latter term.
- Body Horror: This is what his physical body has become◊.
- Born Lucky: Though it doesn't get as much play as his Insufferable Genius qualities, his Luck Stat is 10 out of 10. In this case it represents his ability to predict probabilities and manipulate them to his own benefit.
- Bread and Circuses:
- House's method of governing; he is ruling over a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas, after all. There's enough food, water, power, shelter, and Securitrons to keep order, along with prostitution, gambling, drugs, and the right to keep firearms for defense. In general as long as you're peaceful and don't question his authority, you can lead a safe and happy life. And it's available to everyone, if you can pay the entry fees of course. While opinions in the rest of the Mojave differ from place to place, around Vegas itself people don't mind House being in charge over the NCR and Legion, since House has so far not caused them much grief.
- This trope is also how House tries to convince the player to work for him; you should know enough about his power and influence to understand that being his right-hand carries a lot of benefits, and being his enemy carries a lot of dangers. If you invoke Only in It for the Money as the reason you aid him, he tells you that he's offering you something far greater than money, but if that's your interest then don't worry, you'll have plenty of it.
- Captain Obvious: Combines this with What an Idiot against you when you take some of the dumber conversation paths. House makes no effort to hide his disdain and condescension.House: I knew I could rely on Caesar to return the Platinum Chip to you.
Courier: What makes you think Caesar gave me the Chip?
Editor files for dialogue read "sigh of impatience - oh, the burden of intelligence"
House: The Chip unlocks this bunker. Hence you have it.
- The Chessmaster: House has been playing everyone since before the Great War, and aside from losing the Platinum Chip before he could put it to use, he's been winning. So far, he's managed to put The Strip solidly under his control, knows more about the NCR and the Legion than they know about him, and has manipulated the NCR into financing and protecting his interests. Now that the Chip on his way back to him, he's about to have all he needs to make his final plays and take over the Mojave Wasteland.
- The man has thought out every contingency well in advance, the only wild card being your actions. It's rather telling that his planning for the Great War was only off by a day.
- In a way, leaving both Kimball and Oliver alive in the end counts as this. While he does want them alive as scapegoats for the NCR's defeat, House notes that because they will be blamed for the NCR's loss, their political careers are more or less destroyed. In the case of Oliver, House even calculates a roughly 40% chance of him committing suicide.
- A Dummied Out bit reveals the full hilarity of his planning — if you kill him, he has a pre-recorded message ready to announce his death to the strip, and the Securitrons have printed obituaries to hand out.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: If you sterilize his life support pod while he's still connected to it, he explodes. Raul, Cass, and Lily all lampshade what a horrible way to go this is.
- Dark Lord on Life Support: He's been confined to a life support chamber for the past two hundred years or so, and while some players might find him sympathetic, he's just amoral enough that others would regard him as evil.
- Deadpan Snarker: As befitting his condescending nature, he can be quite sarcastic when talking about other characters.
- Democracy Is Bad: He aims to become the sole autocrat ruling over the Mojave. If the player calls him out on this, he will simply tell you to look out the window and see how well the last democracy ended up.
- Don't Create a Martyr: The reason he doesn't want NCR President Kimball assassinated — alive, Kimball will become the scapegoat for NCR's failure to take the region once House comes to power. Dead, he's a martyr for the cause and House will be blamed for kicking out NCR.
- Dying Curse: He has a pretty brutal one for you if you pop open his chamber."May there be... A hell for you! A Tartarus! Bleak... Unending..."
- Earth That Was: If you pick the right conversation path, he reveals that his ultimate goal is to use NCR's economy to restart technological development, eventually enabling manned spaceflight and allowing humanity to colonize other planets.
- Easily Forgiven: He doesn't care if the Courier bugs the Lucky 38's mainframe on behalf of the Followers of the Apocalypse. In fact, if the Courier tells him about the Followers' offer beforehand, he will practically dare him/her to do it.
- Elaborate Underground Base: His Securitron factory under the Fort. The Lucky 38 also has a number of subterranean levels that seem to be much larger than the ones above-ground.
- Emperor Scientist: He was a talented businessman, robotics engineer, and computer scientist. Two hundred years After the End, he's become the supreme ruler of New Vegas and has managed to convert three powerful tribes to his cause, all because he controls an army of Mecha-Mooks. With the help of the Courier, he can expand his influence across the entire Mojave Wasteland.
- Everyone Has Standards: He's cold, calculating and ruthless, but even he is appalled that the Courier would allow humanity's future to be guided by the Legion.
- Evil Genius: Or just Genius. One of his defining traits is that House really is the technological and economic visionary he says he is, and his main strength is the foresight and careful planning that he puts into all his ideas to make sure they work.
- Evil Overlord: If you view him as evil. Even if you don't, he has several of the usual traits — he rules over his people from an intimidating and impenetrable fortress, no one ever sees him in person, his will is carried out by a lone lieutenant and an army of replaceable minions, and he's planning to Take Over the World. House could even be seen as a Deconstruction of the trope, showing that one can be the "Overlord" part without necessarily being "Evil".
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Lucky 38, which (barring the odd mountain) can be seen from any vantage in the Mojave.
- Expy: In addition to more-than-passing resemblances to real-world figures mentioned under other trope headings, House takes some inspiration from the title character of The Wizard of Oz: He lives in a giant tower, secludes himself from the general population by never setting foot outside it, and conceals his true nature by speaking to the Courier through a projection of a giant green head. The secret access to his stasis chamber is even concealed behind a curtain.
- Fantastic Racism: His official policy (as explained by his Securitrons) is to treat even non-feral ghouls and super mutants in the same manner as robots and cyberdogs: they're not allowed on the Strip unless they're under the supervision of a human who agrees to be legally and financially responsible for them.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Just look at the picture.
- Fiction 500: House is far and away the richest man in the post-War world. No word on whether he was number one pre-War, but he was still rich enough to spend many, many billions of dollars designing and building his personal defense system for Vegas (and still be filthy rich when he was done). His brother prevented him from getting any of his inheritance but by the time he was in his twenties he had created RobCo which in 7 years became THE biggest robotics company and created the Pip-boys, Stealth Boys, Protectrons and Securitrons as well as working on Liberty Prime and House's life support system
- From Nobody to Nightmare:
- As far as the other major factions are concerned. The NCR didn't even know he existed until he sends out one of his robots to greet them, while Joshua Graham states that the Legion didn't consider him enough of a factor to find out any more than the basic facts about him before invading the Mojave. Yet, if you side with him, by the end of the game he'll have eradicated the Legion, forced NCR from the region, and will reign over the Mojave.
- He was also this to his own half-brother. Screwed out of his own inheritance, he single-handed made his way through MIT and made his own company before slowly buying out his family's business, leaving his brother with a single factory in which he succumbed to his own madness and paranoia.
- Gambit Roulette: He specializes in these, due to his ability to predict and manipulate probabilities. It's even invoked by his Meaningful Name.
- Gang of Hats: As part of his efforts to preserve the spirit of Vegas, he invoked this on the three tribes he galvanized into the casino families. The Omertas and Gomorrah represent the seedy criminal element, the Chairmen and Tops the fun swingers, and the White Gloves and the Ultra-Lux the posh luxury. House says the Omertas were intrigued by the stories he told them of pre-War crime families and ran with them, while Benny says the Chairmen were given their clothing and explicitly told to dress and act the way they do.
- A God I Am Not: His capabilities are god-like but he makes it clear that he doesn't want to be viewed or worshipped as one.
- Good Is Not Soft: If you view him as a good guy. House may keep his people and his allies content and happy, but don't think he's unwilling to resort to underhanded methods to defeat his enemies, or that he'll go light on those who betray him.
- Humanoid Abomination: A literal example, since he's classified in the game as an Abomination.
- Hypocritical Humor: The following exchange, which only gets funnier if you later betray House.Courier: The Omertas were clever, but no match for me.
House: Arrogance was their undoing. (obviously condescending) There might be a lesson in that. But, moving on.
- If My Calculations Are Correct: He all but invokes the trope by name when the player asks how he reaches the decisions and conclusions he does. House is always weighing all the factors several times over to decide how to handle them best.
- Insufferable Genius:
- If Mr House has a flaw, aside from certain disabilities, it's that he's a genius. And he knows it. He's never so droll as to directly point it out, but he obviously talks down to people, and won't even consider the idea that he might be wrong.
- He'll ask why you betrayed him if you remove him from his life-support. You can tell him that you "just didn't like him".
- His obituary declares that he was a visionary genius that mankind is not likely to replace, is recognized as humanity's best hope to ensure their survival and prosperity, had incalculable knowledge of several subjects, and generally talks of him like he's a Messianic Archetype. The key part of his obituary is that he wrote it himself, and left notes at the end about its incompleteness.
- After his death, various characters can mention reading his obituary, dryly commenting that all they were left with was the impression that whoever Mr House really was, it's clear that the guy had a really high opinion of himself.
- Kick the Dog / Kick the Son of a Bitch:
- His orders to kill the Brotherhood of Steel. Are they a Broken Pedestal compared to the previous games? Yes. Unlike 90% of other quests in the game, there is no alternative, peaceful solution (though there was one dummied out), the Brotherhood has to go for the player to continue working for House.
- If he takes over the Mojave, the only way for the Kings to survive is if they start a street war against the innocent NCR citizens. House will see this as loyalty towards New Vegas, and decides to leave them in control of Freeside. In all the other outcomes it will result in him ordering the Kings to be killed off.
- A Lighter Shade of Grey: To the Legion. There's no question between NCR and the Legion of which is the "evil" faction — with NCR and House, it's a bit more open for discussion. He truly does want to rebuild humanity back to prosperity, it's just that his vision of the future differs greatly from NCR's, so it's up for the player to decide who's more in the right.
- Like a Son to Me: If you finish the game on his behalf with Good karma, it's hinted that he's very, very proud of his choice in lieutenants and spoils the Courier handsomely. If you have Bad karma however, it's implied he's afraid of you and is simply trying to placate you.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: Cass even makes a few references to The Wizard of Oz to lampshade it.
- Man in the Machine: His physical human body is contained in a life support capsule beneath the casino wired up to the Lucky 38's computer systems. The entire fortress is his body now, and his Securitrons his arms to control the Strip.
- Mega Corp.: He founded and ruled one of this before Great War, RobCo. And he wants turning into this all New-Vegas. See One Nation Under Copyright.
- Meaningful Name: In casino-speak, "the House" refers to the casino ownership. And as everyone knows, "the House always wins". This also refers to the fact his plan hinges on a home turf advantage that no one can counter, that he has a secret Securitron army waiting in the wings to seize the Dam and shatter the Legion. The quests connected to him also play on this, his questline to the ending named "The House Always Wins" and the quest for killing him is "The House Has Gone Bust".
- Mecha-Mooks: His army of securitrons.
- Mr. Alt Disney: In addition to his shades of Howard Hughes, his obsession with converting New Vegas into The Theme Park Version of its former self, his portrait, and his seclusion in what amounts to a suspended-animation chamber all bear similarities to pop culture images and urban legends about Walt Disney.
- N.G.O. Superpower: Before the War, he personally designed, financed, and constructed a privately held defense system for Vegas that incorporated an anti-missile system that puts the SDI to shame and a standing army of killer robots, each with as much firepower as a squad or more of human soldiers.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He is, basically, Howard Hughes for the Fallout 'verse. His old look, economic views, and pursuit of technology for the betterment of mankind all harken back to the Hughes when he was the famous self-made man, while his obsession with Vegas and his infamous seclusion in the penthouse of a hotel resemble Hughes in his decline.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Without your help, he does little. Justified for a few reasons, most importantly that his Securitrons are not frontline combat ready and he can't afford to use them for such until you deliver the Platinum Chip to him; without it he has his hands full keeping the Strip orderly.
- Not So Above It All:
- Despite the image of a coldly logical and calculating leader he is trying to create for himself, some of his actions makes it quite clear that he is still very much human in some areas. Case in point; a possible ending has him deciding to punish a NCR-affiliated Primm for their loyalty to the republic, by making them his subjects and imposing strict surveillance by Securitrons and heavy taxes upon them. His motivation can really only be described as pure and simple pettiness.
- His disdain for the Brotherhood of Steel (and his subsequent insistence on wiping them out) also in part stems from how ridiculous they are in his eyes. While the rationale behind Gomorrah and the Omertas (in spite of their seedy, illegal activities) is essentially out of nostalgic memories of pre-War mafia crime families, as it wouldn't quite be Vegas without them.
- Not So Different:
- House shares traits of many other major faction leaders in the game. Like the NCR's leaders, he has the people in mind and truly wants to build up the Mojave as something strong, but he's quite self-serving and insatiably hungry for power and control, often to a petty extent. Like Caesar, he believes he can rewrite history and fix the mistakes the Old World made for mankind's benefit, but he's also exceptionally narcissistic and easy to anger, even to a murderous level, having no qualms with killing off an entire group of Vegas citizens (the Kings) just for not being "loyal enough". Similar to the Brotherhood, he believes that technology is a wonderful thing, but believes it's best left in his hands.
- A Dummied Out piece of dialog from Veronica based on a post-House ending has her state that she's proud of fighting for House (or in her words, "the kooky old geezer") since he reminds her of Elijah, or at least the parts of Elijah that she admired.
- In Honest Hearts, Joshua Graham says that what he hears of how House keeps order on the Strip and his rise to power by uniting tribes under his banner reminds him of Caesar. However, by his own admission he knows little of House beyond what he hears from others.
- One Nation Under Copyright: His preferred title for himself is "Chief Executive of the Free Economic Zone of New Vegas." All economic activities in the city are licensed by, and answerable to, House, and no-one below a certain level of wealth is even let through the gates of the Stip, on penalty of death.
- Orcus on His Throne: He never leaves the Lucky 38 casino, instead delegating his Securitrons or the Courier to do his legwork for him. Given the right dialogue options, the player can call him out on the fact that he never does anything himself, though it turns out there's a very good reason he can't get more personally involved in things.
- Personal Effects Reveal: An unmarked Sidequest for Mr House involves collecting Snowglobes for him. Why Snowglobes?Mr. House: What of it? I enjoy them. There's something about a little diorama set inside a glass dome that I find... pleasing.
J.E. Sawyer: It's for the Citizen Kane reference, partially because it's especially fitting for Mr. House. He has no interest in physically interacting with the world but wants absolute control over New Vegas. Snow globes are perfect static worlds in miniature that can't be directly touched but can be (literally) turned up side down any time the owner desires.
- Pet the Dog:
"You know, I've had thousands of employees in my time. Few met my expectations, fewer still surpassed them. Your performance has been nothing short of spectacular."
- He's impressed with what he hears of what the White Gloves have done with the Ultra-Luxe, musing that "if I were ambulatory", it sounds like the kind of place he'd like to go. Considering his ego and history, that's quite the compliment.
- He recognizes the Courier's potential and that he/she is a skilled and resourceful ally, and he's not shy about letting him/her know he knows this. Depending on the player's karma at the end of the game with House's ending, he lets them live a life of luxury in the Lucky 38, either out of fear or gratitude, and is proud of the Courier and his own choice in making him/her his lieutenant. G.E.C.K. script notes his thoughts on you are that, if he had ever taken the time to have a family, you would have been the son/daughter he'd have wished for.
- Taking certain dialogue paths inquiring about his life support systems have him muse that once technological and economic prosperity return to Vegas, he may look into making the technology available to others, particularly to you.
- If the player reads the treaty he prints off to give to the NCR leaders during the second battle of Hoover Dam they'll see that in exchange for withdrawing the NCR military out of Vegas he'll divert water and power back into their territory for only 5 caps per kilowatt hour of electricity and per gallon of water and allow all NCR citizens to stay in Vegas. While it's certainly true that House has his profit margin in mind when doing this (he admits prices may be subject to change without notice) it's still a lot nicer than kicking all of the NCR out of Vegas and extorting them for completely unreasonable sums of money. Especially since control of the Hoover Dam and his army of Securitrons give him a near complete monopoly over these valuable resources as well as the means to defend his assets with lethal force should he need to.
- Pragmatic Villainy: House is very calculating and intelligent and does not make wasteful decisions with his resources and allies.
"I have no interest in abusing others, just as I have no interest in legislating or otherwise dictating what people do in their private time. Nor have I any interest in being worshipped as some kind of machine god messiah. I am impervious to such corrupting ambitions. But autocracy? Firm control in the hands of a technological and economic visionary? Yes, that Vegas shall have."
- When you ask him how can you be sure that he will not abuse his power once he's in control of the Mojave, he tells you that his only interest is in the progress of mankind, when he takes power he'll keep the peace but otherwise will leave people to live their lives. The implied reason is simple — why bother wasting resources oppressing people when you can earn their loyalty more easily by appeasing them?
- This trope is why he wants Kimball alive. Kimball came to power during the time of the First Battle of Hoover Dam, and the seven years stalemate against House and Caesar has ruined his reputation. Thus when House takes over, the Mojave will be seen as "one man's misadventure", and Kimball and his administration will become the scapegoat House needs so NCR doesn't blame him for their failure to take the Mojave. On the other hand, should Caesar's assassination attempts succeed, Kimball will become a martyr for the Mojave cause and NCR-Vegas relations will strain once House takes over, possibly meaning full war.
- He made it a point to outlaw cannibalism amongst the White Glove Society because it's culturally unacceptable. He also doesn't just have his Securitrons rush the Tops and kill Benny because it's both bad for business, and because some harm might come to the Platinum Chip.
- He will only have people killed for pragmatic reasons. If you ask him why he hasn't mentioned Benny after (if) you've killed him, he will state he doesn't care what you did with Benny once you had the Platinum Chip because Benny has ceased being relevant to him, and will flat out insult you by hoping killing him satisfied your barbaric behavior. If you destroyed the Boomers rather than allying with them, he'll be a bit annoyed but still accepts that at least they're not a threat anymore.
- Properly Paranoid: One of the things that makes House so effective is that he considers every outcome... and he has an uncanny habit of being right.
- Back in 2065, Mr. House was certain that it is only a matter of time before a nuclear war between the superpowers takes place, so he spent a large amount of his personal wealth setting up missile defenses to protect the area around Las Vegas. 12 years later, the Great War happened. Given what you learn of the buildup to the war, one might call this less "paranoid" and more "realistic".
- He hires six couriers to transport the chip, the other five carrying useless junk, to throw off anyone who might intercept them, hires mercenary teams to clear the road ahead of them, and probably had other people following them, just to make sure nothing happened to the chip. As the intro of the game should hint, something did.
- He has Victor, a specialized Securitron, follow you (and keep an eye on Benny) in case something goes awry. Victor not only digs you out of the shallow grave at the start but continues to trail you until you reach New Vegas and will on occasion come and lend a hand if you go somewhere too dangerous.
- He orders you to kill off the Brotherhood, even though they haven't done anything to him, based purely on speculation that they will oppose him when he comes to power. At first, this may make House seem cruel, but without the NCR to pressure them into reform, the Brotherhood eventually devolve into a band of power-armored raiders, attacking caravans and seizing technology that they deem the wastelanders unworthy of having (which is most of it) by force. As one can guess of his dream to head to space and leave Earth behind, this is the last thing he wants..
- He states that he wouldn't mind the current state of affairs with NCR except for the fact they're planning to get rid of him and seize Vegas for themselves, so he's not going to give them the chance. He's right but it's partially his fault — the NCR is also Properly Paranoid, concerned that House is planning to use the conflict with the Legion to expand his power beyond the Strip. You really can't blame the NCR for this, given that House very well might if he found it expedient enough.
- Doc Mitchell and Sarah and Sheldon Weintraub hate his guts because he took over Vault 21 and filled most of it with concrete to prevent someone from digging into it and using it as a secret passage into and out of the Strip. As it turns out, he wasn't quite paranoid enough, since Benny is still able to use the remainder for just that purpose.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's been alive since before the Great War. It wasn't easy. Not at all.
- Repressive but Efficient: His vision of New Vegas, as befitting a man whose schemes have all been achieved through robotic servants. He plans out every new development in terrific detail, and brings harsh punishments to those who break their contracts with him. Should he succeed in taking over Vegas, his first idea will be to work on making the trains run on time...
- Resignations Not Accepted: Zigzagged. At first he is adamant that you will do as he says and deliver the Chip to him, telling him you have no interest in working for him offends him, and in some cases if you try to end dialogue, he'll become indignant and keep talking. On the other hand, once you deliver the Chip to him and activate the Securitron vault, he becomes much more lenient if you tell him you're not interested in working for him anymore, telling you "when you change your mind, I'll be waiting". The reason of course is that the Chip is the most important and pivotal part of his plan, once you deliver it you've done plenty; after that House is giving you the chance to reap the benefits of that plan and if you back out, it's your loss.
- Robosexual: Conversations with Jane, the Securitron based on the "neurocomputational matrix" of one of his pre-War girlfriends, imply that he is one. Although, since he's revealed to actually be a withered husk sequestered in a stasis pod, it's probably more about the company and less about sex.
- Self-Made Man: He was orphaned at an early age and cheated out of his inheritance by his half-brother, but through his intelligence and hard work he founded RobCo Industries on his 22nd birthday, one of the most wealthy and influential corporations in history. By the time he was thirty, he was already a billionaire three times over.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He's not as bad as Arcade, but he'll slip into it on occasion.
- Shadow Dictator: No one has ever seen him or been inside the Lucky 38 until the Courier comes along. His mysterious nature has earned him the nickname of "The Ghost-Man of Vegas", with Ulysses even treating him as an old-world spirit of sorts.
- Shrouded in Myth: No one really knows who (or what) Mr. House really is, but everyone has their pet theory. After you recruit him, Raul — one of the few people in the world around during House's pre-War glory days — will regale you with several of them.
- Smug Snake: If you view him as evil. He is confident and arrogant to the point he's almost unflappable, and even when the player holds power over him in some manner he insults and sneers rather than beg or cower.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: In a cut line, where the Courier breaks into his control room."Just, uh, stay away from the console! It doesn't do anything!"
- The Extremist Was Right: House may be a dictator who rules The Strip with an iron fist, but he did protect it from being nuked to hell thanks to his sheer genius, and for seven years he has turned the Strip into prosperous, clean, and safe Pre-War paradise, the same thing he plans to do in the whole of New Vegas and the Mojave Wasteland. Moreover, given his track record, his claim of guiding mankind to space in the near future may not be an empty boast.
- Too Clever by Half:
- He's certainly good at balancing the NCR, the Legion, and the Three Families of the Strip against each other to his own advantage while ensuring that he always comes out on top. However, for all his powers of persuasion and coercion, he's hardly omnipotent. In fact, in some endings, the very fact that his plans depend on his predictions of other people's actions to succeed proves to be his downfall.
- He gets completely blindsided by Yes Man and the Courier in the Wild Card ending as he is far too confident in his own powers to foresee Benny creating a back door into his system or that the Courier might not do as he intends...
- Übermensch: He rejects the moral and ideological systems of other, lesser men and plans to reshape the Mojave (and, eventually, the world) by the sheer force of his will.
- Unscrupulous Hero: He wants to rebuild humanity and has standards but doesn't mind killing anyone who gets in his way.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: His semi-immortality and his obsession with progress has caused him to become detached from his fellow man. It is quite clear that when he gives you the order to destroy the Brotherhood's bunker, he hasn't given any thought to the fate and life of its members because it didn't occur to him, he just sees a problem he needs to get rid off. Likewise with the Kings, if he chooses to retake Freeside in his ending.
- Villainous Breakdown: He has quite an impressive one if you have the Platinum Chip in your possession, but you refuse to give it to him.
- We Can Rule Together: House makes it clear to you in dialogue trees as soon as you complete his first quest that when he takes over the Mojave, he wants you to be a crucial part of it, and your reward will be a place of power and luxury by his side when the dust settles. And if you side with him, he lives up to the promises.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants to restore the world to its pre-war glory and plans to rule it as a benevolent dictator. But his means of coming to power is to remove NCR from the area by force and, rather than try to pacify the many factions of the Mojave that are gearing up for war, manipulate their allegiances so they either work for him or will be destroyed by the inevitable Second War for Hoover Dam.
- What the Hell, Hero?: If the player goes to The Tops before the Lucky 38 and Benny ends up escaping, House will scold them for ignoring his attempts to help. Similarly, he has a few choice words for you if you open his life support chamber (particularly if you tell him you're doing so under Caesar's orders). However, if the player manages to kill Benny and take the chip, he'll be particularly impressed.
- Zen Survivor:
- This counts for his early, Pre-War life. Being orphaned and then subsequently screwed out of his family fortune by a bitter half-brother, he clawed his way to the top and was taught many values of self-reliance and rising above the pettiness of others.
- Post-War, he is definitely this. In the initial time period after the War, the systems and mechanisms of his shelter and life-support constantly blacked or shorted out, forcing him and his securitrons to constantly scramble to fix it. Furthermore, all of the damage and stress he endured placed him into a coma for years afterward. By the time he woke up, the city he'd worked so hard to protect from the bombs had fallen into decay and was populated by tribals. By the time you meet him, he's interested in you strictly because you aren't on the same base level as the greater portion of humanity.
Voiced by: Matthew Perry
"From where you're kneeling must seem like an 18 carat run of bad luck. Truth is... the game was rigged from the start."Benny is the head of the Chairmen, one of the Three Families who rule the Strip. A major antagonist early on, Benny was the one who shot the Courier in the opening of the game and stole the Platinum Chip to use for his own plans. A charming, backstabbing snake, Benny's willing to do anything to come out on top in the harsh Mojave Wasteland.
Provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: He's quite charming and nice, if a bit sleazy and murderous. He even makes it clear right at the beginning of the game when he has the Khans dig you a grave, and when the Khans start protesting that he should just get it over with, he snaps back that he isn't a "fink" and wants to look someone in the face when he kills them.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Can be subverted and played straight if the player character is a female. You can have sex with Benny, but it can just be a means to get the chance to kill him in private. Benny himself is even somewhat grossed out about the fact that a girl he has shot in the head and left for dead thinks he's hot and wants to have sex with him despite that. Not enough to stop him from doing it, of course, but unsettled nonetheless.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: If you kill him, the only person in the entire Mojave saddened by his death is Swank, and then only if you failed to persuade him that Benny was plotting against House. Almost every group in the game except the Boomers and the Brotherhood make comments about how glad they are that he's gone, and some people will even lament that they weren't there to see him die.
- Anti-Climax Boss: Getting to Benny is a pain in the ass. Killing him once you've found him can be accomplished fairly easily if you do the right prep work first.
- Arch-Nemesis: The Courier's, for the first half of the game at least.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's a relative push-over in-game, but the All Roads comic shows that despite his dandy-like appearance Benny is actually highly skilled in wasteland survival and combat, impressing even his Great Khans henchmen. He used to be a wasteland tribal warrior prior to Mr. House's takeover and renovation of New Vegas.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Well, an expensive suit, anyway. Tasteful is another thing, although it seems to have a certain tacky chic to it, considering that it grants Speech and Barter bonuses. Although the game refers to it as a "suit," it is actually two non-matching pieces, a black-and-white buffalo plaid sport coat and solid gray dress slacks.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He's aiming to take over New Vegas for himself by overthrowing House, but is obviously nowhere near as smart as the Courier or House and would clearly be in over his head when it came time to deal with the Legion and NCR.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Averted. His method for disposing of the main character is to shoot them in the head. Twice. It doesn't work, but A for effort.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: As long as he believes that he has a chance at ruling Vegas, he will still consider you an enemy. A Dummied Out event even has him ambushing you if you saved him from the Legion and mocking you for showing mercy to a weasel like him.
- Consummate Liar: He lies to you time and again. If you actually trust him then there is something wrong with you.
- Cool Gun: Maria, his custom Browning Hi-Power. You can get it if you kill him, and it's one of the best pistols in the game, on a par with the Mysterious Magnum.
- Crazy-Prepared: Apparently, Yes Man being able to follow anyone's orders was something of a contingency.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: If you ask about his background, Benny will tell you about how he became tribe leader through Klingon Promotion, taking down his former boss. In the tie-in graphic novel All Roads, one of the Great Khans he is travelling with reacts with shock to the revelation that he used to be a tribal. His friend responds as they are crossing the wasteland by telling them that "It's midday and he's setting the pace. You tell me."
- Disc One Final Boss: Becomes pretty much irrelevant after the end of the first act (IE: chasing Benny down).
- Distracted by the Sexy: If you seduce him with the Black Widow perk.
- Do with Him as You Will:
- If you don't feel like dealing with him personally when you meet him in Caesar's camp, you can simply walk away and let the Legion crucify him.
- This is also essentially what Mr. House tells you. He has no interest in Benny aside from the Platinum Chip, and will even shut you up if you try to tell him how you took care of Benny.
- Enemy Mine: You and he can decide to try and cut your way through Caesar's tent at the Fort. He'll likely die fighting.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Proven in the game intro when, upon a Great Khan asking him why he waited until the Courier was conscious to kill them, he actually gets offended, making it quite clear he considers it reprehensible to shoot someone without looking them in the face. As bonus points, he even apologizes to the Courier for having to kill them for merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Evil Counterpart: Plays this role to the Courier, being groomed as House's lieutenant but betraying him to take Vegas for himself. However, if the player is evil and advocates a free Vegas in the name of anarchy, Benny could be considered their Good (or at least, A Lighter Shade Of Gray) Counterpart. Additionally, in the Collector's Edition deck of playing card, Benny and the Courier are the Jokers, and in tarot, the two Jokers are the Magician and the Fool. The Fool is the spirit in search of experience and represents cleverness and aimless wandering, while the Magician represents trickery and deception, and the pursuit of personal power. And in some interpretations, it is the meeting with the Magician that starts the Fool on their journey to meet the other Tarot symbols.
- Face Death with Dignity: Unless you decide to crucify him for your own amusement, he actually admits defeat and dies with his head held high. If you decide to execute him, he'll refuse your offer to close his eyes and simply asks that you "make it quick". However, should you decide to face him in arena, he'll be grateful as if you gave him birthday present, even though he tells you that he won't go easy on you. The latter reaction is explained if you ask him about his past. Before House "civilized" the Boot Rider tribe into the Chairmen, they used to engage in honorable duels to the death to decide important matters such as leadership, which is how he became Chief. You're essentially giving him the best death he could ask for.
- Flunky Boss: If you opt to just attack him on the floor of The Tops after convincing Swank to let you bring in your gear and kill him, he'll be backed up by 4 thugs wielding knives and sub machine guns. He'll put up a little more of a fight than if you fight him in the arena and can even overpower low level players, but a high level player still should have no problem with him.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: He's surprised that the Courier lived when confronted, even though Mr. New Vegas regularly runs a news story announcing it.
- Genre Savvy: He knows how Grey Vs Gray the main conflict is, that all parties fighting to control New Vegas would kill to reach their goal. You will kill and betray someone, no matter which faction you choose.
- Graceful Loser: Once he realizes that he won't be a part of overthrowing New Vegas, he actually tells you his plans with Yes Man and encourages you to take his place. He'll try to kill you straight after this.
- I Call It "Vera": Benny's gun Maria.
- Idiot Ball: Hilariously, what gave him away in his attempt to pose as a member of the Legion was the fact that he didn't change his well-groomed haircut, which prompts Caesar himself to admit that Benny had been doing so surprisingly well at infiltrating his fortress he was actually disappointed such a Worthy Opponent at outsmarting his troops was brought down due to a menial thing like vanity.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: His buffalo plaid sport coat is quite loud and other characters mention it often.
- Ironic Echo: If you choose to just shoot him while he kneels with hands tied down. Especially if you suggest he close his eyes, he chooses to see it coming, as you did when he tried to kill you.
- Jerkass Has a Point: If you call him out on his murderousness, he counters with the fact that the stakes of his plan — the fate of three entire nations — are so high that yes, he's perfectly willing to murder to achieve success. Turns out he's right; in every ending path, you'll be forced to assassinate people.
- Jive Turkey: Benny and The Chairmen all speak in 50's style Rat Pack slang.
- Karmic Death: When Benny ends up at the Fort, Caesar gives you the opportunity to kill Benny in a multitude of ways if you want to kill him. The most simple way to go about it is actually a role reversal of the opening of the game, only this time, Benny is the one tied up on the floor, and The Courier is the one with the gun (provided you manage to smuggle it in). Even Benny cracks a joke about how the tables have turned on him. And for extra irony, you can pickpocket Maria from him and use it to do the deed. Though it doesn't need to be at the Fort, there's actually a Challenge for killing Benny using his own gun.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: To a very evil Courier.
- Meaningful Name: As listed under Evil Counterpart, he and the Courier are the Jokers in the Collector's Edition deck of cards. In Euchre, the Joker is the highest trump possible, and is referred to as the Benny card.
- The Nicknamer: Calls the Courier "Baby" regardless of gender.
- Opportunistic Bastard: Benny will do anything to gain more power and has more ambition than actual ability.
- Precision F-Strike: Happens during a Crowning Moment of Awesome where you deliver a Bond One-Liner to him over the intercom while he thinks he's talking to the thugs/cleaners who are there to get rid of your corpse.Benny: The cleaners will knock twice. Tell them to be thorough.Courier: Yeah, it's a real mess up here - four bodies.noteBenny: What the fuck?!
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: All Roads in particular casts Swank and Benny like this. Benny is scheming to take on Vegas, Swank is worried about the extremes he'll go to... and about him getting cigarette burns on the carpets.
- Smug Snake: He'd be a lot more efficient as a liar if he weren't so arrogant.
- Spanner in the Works:
- Whether Mr. House could have actually succeeded in taking control of the Mojave on his own is debatable, but what is certain is that Benny's actions have significantly disrupted his plans and the delicate balance of power between the factions fighting over the territory.
- Benny is also responsible for one of the biggest spanners: his schemes led him to make Yes Man who can allow the Courier to become a spanner to all the factions. For delicious irony, Benny's plans can then be used to become his own spanner as you murder him, usurp him and proceed to do his job better than he could have.
- The Starscream: Mr. House was grooming him as his lieutenant, but he underestimated Benny's ambition. Benny's decision to betray him came out of nowhere from his perspective.
- Starter Villain: By the time you're ready to confront him, it should be clear to you it's just the end of phase one in a much larger conflict.
- Take Up My Sword: If he's captured by the Legion and facing certain death, he'll tell the Courier he doesn't mind, so long as they continue his project of ousting House.
- Token Evil Teammate: Of the Chairmen, who are otherwise the Token Good Teammates of the Three Families.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: If you free him from the Legion, he disappears. As it turns out, he was going to ambush The Courier later on and mock him/her for showing him mercy.
- Wild Card: His reason for stealing the Platinum Chip. It doesn't work... for him, at least.
Voiced by: William Sadler
"Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, it's my 'ole pal from Goodsprings!"The Securitron robot who narrowly saves the Courier at the very beginning, seemingly by coincidence while scavenging around the graveyard area.
Provides examples of:
- Body Backup Drive: Like Yes Man, Victor is just a personality that can be uploaded to any Securitron.
- Manchurian Agent: Victor has no idea that he's remotely controlled by Mr. House. He's being completely honest with you when he says he has no idea how he does the things he does or why, but he nonetheless does them because that's what he's programmed to do.
- Mysterious Protector: Early on in the game, Victor can occasionally appear to help fight off enemies if the player's having trouble. Specifically, he's House' eyes and ears on you and trying to make sure you get to Vegas safely.
- Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: He's a robot unicycle who thinks he's a cowboy.
- Reverse Mole: Victor spends a good part of the first half of the game being very ominous and suspicious. Rarely giving direct answers to personal questions, and always just running into you by coincidence. Despite the leery behavior, he turns out to actually be a helpful robot trying to get you safely to your destination.
- Unwitting Pawn: To House. Whether he knows it or not, House is giving him commands to help the Courier that coincides with his own friendly nature. He's also the one who hired the couriers for the Platinum Chip in the first place.
- You Bastard: A Dummied Out event that's restored in certain mods has Victor angrily confronting the Courier and saying that he should have left him/her in the grave if the player destroyed the Securitron Vault under Fortification Hill.
Voiced by: Dave Foley
"What can I do for you today!?"A Securitron re-programmed by Benny to be subservient to him, hence the name, Yes Man is the key piece in Benny's plan to rule New Vegas.
Provides examples of:
- Angrish: If the player destroys the Securitron Army underneath Fortification Hill, while he cannot directly insult you it is clear that he is at a loss for words at how detrimental your actions are. The most he can say is that you sure are brave for doing such a thing and how it'll make everything more... challenging.
- Appropriated Appelation: The name of Yes Man apparently started off as a mocking nickname from Benny. Being the only human he's ever interacted with until you found him, he doesn't have any other name to use and so goes by that.
- Benevolent A.I.: He is programmed to help others accomplish their goals no matter his actual opinion on the matter. In the ending, he upgrades himself so that this only applies to The Courier.
- Berserk Button: Yes Man seems to have a particular hatred of the Great Khans, likely just him parroting Benny's actual opinions on the Khans. He also dislikes the Brotherhood on a smaller scale for about the same reasons as House. However unlike House, Yes Man cannot make the Courier exterminate said factions, but will note that keeping the Brotherhood alive is a poor long-term choice and hopes that the Great Khans will die a grisly death in some other way.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Despite his cheery demeanor, this is the AI that masterminded a plot that puts him in total control of a Securitron army and by default, Vegas itself. He's also responsible for setting up the plan to ambush you and help Benny put two bullets in your noggin (he's awful sorry about it though once he knows who you are).
"Greetings, General Oliver. The disappointment you're about to experience delights me!"
- Also, there's a piece of Dummied Out dialogue for the Independent ending that hints at a sadistic side:
- Body Backup Drive: Every time the player character kills him, his "neurocomputational matrix" is just uploaded in another robot. This could go forever, making him one of the few immortal characters in the game.
- This is put into the game for a very specific reason. Since Yes Man is unkillable, even if you screw yourself out of being able to do any other ending, you can still finish the game on the Wild Card path.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: He is programmed to be forthcoming with any and all information he has available to everyone who asks him any questions. He comments that it probably wasn't a very sound decision on Benny's behalf to make him behave like that.
- Chessmaster Sidekick: Word of God states that the "Assertiveness" upgrade he finds isn't foreshadowing for betrayal, but meant to establish Yes Man as capable of watching over Vegas independently while remaining loyal only to the Courier so that in the next round of musical chairs, what you did to House can't be done to you.
- Dissonant Serenity: It's rather disturbing to listen to him talk about murdering certain people/factions he doesn't like while keeping his cheerful, happy tone."You should accept his invitation, and then murder him when he least suspects it!""I sure hope they get eaten by scorpions!"
- Double Standard: He has a humorous moment of this if you get the Great Khans to aid the NCR."That's not aiding the enemy. Not when you do it".
- The Dragon: To Benny, and you if you go for the Wild Card path.
- Dragon-in-Chief: What with it being him rather than Benny/you who controls the securitrons.
- Dude, Not Funny!: If you make it clear to him that you're the Courier that Benny shot:"Ha ha ha, that's... not funny, you getting shot in the head. I guess I really shouldn't have taken so much pride in how I set that up. I feel really bad now."
- Extreme Doormat: If you decide to attack him, the most he can do is beg for mercy and say how much he deserves it. However he can't be Killed Off for Real since he'll just upload himself to another Securitron."That's it! Make me take my medicine!"
- Hidden in Plain Sight: After killing Benny and chatting with him, Yes Man takes position right outside the Tops on the open Strip... with House's Securitrons rolling by completely oblivious. This is because of measures taken in his reprogramming to make him a ghost on the Lucky 38 network.
- Irrational Hatred: He has no real reason to hate the Khans, but he would really like it if they died horrible deaths.
- Karma Houdini: Due to his functional immortality, Yes Man notes that you cannot properly take vengeance against him for planning Benny's ambush. You're free to shoot at him, but it won't do any good. He of course apologizes for how incomplete your vengeance must be.
- Keet: He's just so damn happy about everything. And nice! Very, very nice!
- Large Ham: Keet-style.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: No matter how questionable your actions may be, Yes Man cannot disobey the player in any way and will be forced to progress with his plan. Even if it includes trying to take over Vegas with no standing army whatsoever. He can however lampshade your idiocy and question your actions in a somewhat passive-aggressive manner."I'm talking direct tactical control of dozens of Securitrons at vast distances! That might come in handy!"
- Never Live It Down: In-universe, if you blow up the Securitron army, Yes Man will not let you forget that it would have been really useful to have a massive army of robots at your command, but you certainly can't be dumb enough to do such a thing without a good reason.
- Nice Guy: Aside from some passive-aggressive tendencies and an irrational hatred of the Khans, this pretty much sums up his personality in a nutshell.
- Servile Snarker: He can be incredibly passive-aggressive if you do something that seems like it would cause some problems later on, such as blowing up the hidden Securitron army.Yes Man: Oh, yeah, I'm sure you're right. I mean, for one thing, it's you saying it, and you always know what you're talking about. And if you had, you know, a huge killer robot at your command, yeah, that would just clutter things up. And a lesser person might want that kind of overwhelming force on their side, but you know - where's the challenge in that?
- Sycophantic Servant: His general demeanor is that of a complete lickspittle and not even attacking him will make him change his behavior. It's explained that Benny reprogrammed him to make him this way on purpose.
- Undying Loyalty: At the end of the game, Yes Man upgrades himself to be more "assertive" so that only the Courier can give him orders.
- Wild Card: He is needed for you to get the Independent Vegas ending.
- Yes-Man: Benny calls him this. The name stuck.
Mr. New Vegas
Voiced by: Wayne Newton
"This is Mr. New Vegas, and each and every one of you is wonderful in your own special way."The gravel-voiced DJ of Radio New Vegas who will often report on activities happening out in the Mojave Wasteland.
Provides examples of:
- Casting Gag: Voiced by Wayne Newton, a.k.a. Mr. Las Vegas.
- The Charmer: "I tried to test my charisma on a Vit-o-Matic Vigor Testernote once. The machine burst into flame." He only says this with the Wild Wasteland trait.
- Mr. Fanservice: At least some of the ladies of the Mojave consider him to be "charming" and "a real gentleman".People sometimes ask me, "Is there a Mrs. New Vegas?" Of course there is. You're her. And you're still as perfect as the day we met.
- The Mole: In a sense — he's broadcasting NCR military information over open airwaves so anyone with a radio can hear. Makes sense, since he's an ally of Mr. House and thus is working to circumvent the NCR's position in a subtle manner.
- Sweet Dreams Fuel: He is just the sweetest, most ridiculously nice guy. "Hello, listeners, I'm Mister New Vegas and may I say you look beautiful today." "This is just my opinion, and feel free to try and prove me wrong, but I think I have the most attractive listeners in the world." "I think all news brings us all a bit closer together, doesn't it?"
- Voice with an Internet Connection: He somehow knows about every event that takes place in the wasteland and reports about them on his radio show. It is revealed that he is actually an AI programmed by Mr. House before the war.
- Worst News Judgment Ever: Averted, unlike Three Dog from the previous game. All of his reports are generally fairly newsworthy, they're unbiased and have outside commentary, and, most importantly, your character is almost never mentioned. Any time you're responsible, he'll at most mention a third party or a civilian but won't name names. His only direct mention of you is your miraculous recovery at the beginning, and that is newsworthy in itself.
"Ring-a-ding-ding, baby."A group of tribals formerly known as the Boot Riders, reformed by House to embody what is "cool". They currently run the Tops Casino and Aces Theater.
Provides examples of:
- Anti-Mutiny: Swank will help the player if he's convinced that Benny is working against Mr. House since he happens to like his current position of luxury.
- Camp: To the point of making it an art form.
- Challenging the Chief: A custom of theirs back in their tribal days.
- Jive Turkey: The group all speak in swinger slang.
- Klingon Promotion:
- After you deal with Benny, Swank becomes the leader of The Chairmen and will officially run The Tops. He especially qualifies if you got his help by convincing him that Benny was up to no good.
- Benny himself became leader of the Chairmen back in the day by winning a knife-fight to the death against the then-chief, Bingo.
- Nice Guy: Swank is one of the friendlier guys you'll meet in The Strip and has some sensible things to say of the various factions of Vegas. He'll also help the player deal with Benny if he's convinced that he's up to no good, specifically by letting them carry their weapons and letting you search Benny's private suite.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Aces manager Tommy Torini looks an awful lot like Rat Pack member Sammy Davis Jr.
- Token Good Teammate:
- Among the Vegas families. Sure, one member (and his four thugs) is kind of a dick, but at least the faction as a whole is fundamentally good. At least they're not cannibals or sex slavers.
- Even before they became "civilized" by House, it's implied that they held some degree of honor. If you disagreed with the Chief's decisions, you could challenge him to a duel to the death. If you won, the rest of the tribe would follow your word on the matter without question.
The White Glove Society
"You see? We remain the very picture of courtesy, even in the face of such impolite accusations. We have nothing to hide here."A group of tribals reformed by House with a love for sophistication and luxury. Founded by Marjorie, they currently run the Ultra-Luxe Casino.
Provides examples of:
- Cane Fu: Their preferred weapons are dress canes. They are actually surprisingly effective melee weapons that hurt like hell.
- Cannibal Clan: Before they were the White Glove Society. Interesting enough, the developers originally named them the Sawneys (aka Sawney Bean).
- Doing It for the Art: To them, fine cuisine is an art form, and they pride themselves on offering the greatest dishes in the wasteland.
- Everybody Knew Already: Their general creepiness and the fact that it's a rumor that everyone talks about makes the fact they used to be cannibals less surprising.
- Exact Words: Marjorie tells the player that the White Glove Society have never committed cannibalism. She will, however, acknowledge that they were not always known as the White Glove Society.
- FaceHeel Turn: If you help (or allow) Mortimer to return them to their cannibalistic ways.
- Faux Affably Evil: They're very pleasant, despite being former cannibals, and they acknowledge their cannibalistic past just to emphasize they've put it behind them. However, they laugh about it if you help Mortimer turn them back to cannibalism, and they eagerly embrace the idea anew. Their attitude towards cannibalism is more that they dislike the negative connotations it means for the group and their publicity; they still don't find anything wrong with the act.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: Chauncey, the only person aware of Mortimer's plan that wants to stop it. If you meet with him in the sauna, he's doomed no matter what.
- I Am Spartacus: A variation, and a villainous one at that. Mortimer's plan is to trick the other members of the Society into consuming human flesh so that (1) they can become accustomed to the taste and (2) it'll be almost impossible to punish because everyone is just as guilty.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Or well, they used to be. Some, like Mortimer, still are.
- Meaningful Name: Mortimer's name is derived from the Latin morte, meaning death.
- Not So Above It All: Marjorie is indignant if you try to bring up the family's history of cannibalism. Once you and Mortimer turn them back that way, she giggles you two are mischief-makers as if it's a grand joke. And even if you do stop Mortimer, she just sees him and what he tried to do as minor nuisances, and seems more worried with the negative publicity the act would have earned them than the act itself.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Mortimer wanted someone high-born and healthy, but he knows not to attract the wrong type of attention. Thus when he finds out his men snatched the son of a prominent cattle baron to use for their meal, he asks the player to return the kid to his father and trick them into not blaming the family. Short of that, if you must kill him, make it a frame job.
- Sacrificial Lion: Chauncey, who dies to an assassin immediately when he's done telling you about Mortimer's plan.
- Upper-Class Twit: They insist that they are the best and most sophisticated people in the world.
- We Will Meet Again: Should Mortimer be outed before Marjorie and the other White Gloves, he makes a run for it but not without swearing to come back and drive the Society to the ground. Marjorie however isn't so worried it'll happen.
- White Mask of Doom: Their members put on a white mask because their leader Marjorie thinks it will add to their mysterious and elegant atmosphere. But many people comment on how it just makes them creepy.
"You play some games, have some fun."A group of tribals formerly known as the Slither Kin, reformed by House in the shape of old-world crime syndicates. Led by Nero and Big Sal, they run Gomorrah Casino and strip-club.
Provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: Cachino is an unpleasant Jerkass at first, but after you blackmail him with his ledger during the main quest he becomes unfailingly chill and polite towards you as he helps in stopping his boss' plan to cause havoc on the Strip.
- Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Their only internal rule is "Never betray the family"; everything else goes. However, it's possible to turn Big Sal and Nero against one another with a speech check by telling the former you're working for the latter.
- The Atoner: In Cachino's journal, he expresses regret at the things he's done, and continually promises himself he'll never do them again. It's insinuated that he may finally turn over a new leaf now that he has the responsibility of running Gommorah. He talks of "running a tighter ship" than his predecessors.
- Becoming the Mask: Even compared to the other Families, the Omertas really bought into the stories House told of pre-War crime families and ran with them.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: While officially Big Sal is actually The Dragon to Nero, the two seem to share equal authority.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Cachino suspects Clanden to be this, as he's too polite and virtuous for someone working for The Omertas. He's right, as Clanden is a serial rapist.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The staff at the other casinos try to keep their guests happy by being polite and respectful to them. But not the Omertas. It's implied to be mostly just an act since Carlito and Cachino can speak in a more civil manner.
- Defector from Decadence: Carlitos, Joana's lover states that one of the reasons he left the Omertas was that he grew disillusioned by their way of life.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Cachino may be a hustler and a rapist, but he knows something serious is up with the Omerta bosses and will even help you ruin their plans to help the Legion chlorine-bomb New Vegas.
- He also has standards in another way: he is very well aware that the things he does are wrong, and wants to stop, but he never quite seems to get the willpower to.
- Jerkass Façade: Their bouncers comes across as blunt and rude during your first visits, but they eventually soften, especially if you help Cachino take out Sal and Nero. Their behavior was apparently an act to put up the atmosphere they want.Pre-quest Bouncer: "Hey! No one but Omerta's are allowed to carry weapons."Post-quest Bouncer: "I know you're good for it, but we still have to pat you down."
- Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: They claim that the Gomorrah is just another hotel and casino, but everyone knows that they engage in illegal activities.
- The Mafia: The theme of their casino. They live up to it. House even admits that his main reason for keeping them around is purely nostalgic, because they remind him of the mafia groups in the pre-war days, and Vegas just doesn't feel right without that shady element.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Lanius despises them and states that he personally wants them dead for their dishonorable actions, implying this would happen if others don't wipe them out.
- Smug Snake: Smug pawns of the Legion.
- Stupid Evil: In light of their very clear track record in regards to treatment of outsiders, siding with Caesar's Legion to bomb the Strip and aid their conquest of New Vegas qualifies Big Sal and Nero as this.
- Token Good Teammate: Believe it or not, Cachino. To put emphasis on how ridiculous this is: an entire quest is devoted to establishing how big of a bastard he is and his in-game karma is Evil, and yet when you reach the Omertas' actual quest, siding with him's the good option.
- Token Evil Teammate: Of the families. Though should Cachino succeed in having Big Sal and Nero sleeping with the fishes, he promises to keep the Gomorrah on a tight ship.