Characters: Fallout New Vegas The Strip
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: RenÚ 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."
—Mr. House, introducing himself
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.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: To BioShock's Andrew Ryan.
- Always Someone Better: In Old World Blues, Dr. 0 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..
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: The people on the Strip are (mostly) saddened at his passing, but everyone else sees it as a great day for their community or faction.
- 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. Additionally, he engages in morally unclear acts to come to power, and is very open to the idea of Pay Evil unto Evil. And as an overall all 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.
- Benevolent Boss: Some condescension while answering questions aside, he's much better at employee relations than either Caesar or Colonel Moore. As befitting his pragmatic nature, 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 to 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 if you sided with Big Sal and infiltrated them).
- Berserk Button: 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 Knight 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:
Mr House: Because they're ridiculous!
- 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.
- Big Good: 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.
- Big Bad Ensemble: For a Legion or NCR-aligned Courier, in tandem with the other faction.
- 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.
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: He's not a "dictator," he's an "autocrat."
- 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 Viva Las Vegas, after all. He mixes the first two together evenly with a dash of the third — there's 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.
- The Chessmaster: House has been playing everyone since before the Great War, and aside from the Platinum Chip going missing before the war, he's been winning. Now that it's on his way back to him, he's about to have all he needs to make his final plays and take over the entire Mojave — the state of which, by the way, he's been manipulating for his own gain, having NCR dump money in his lap at the casinos so he can finance his search for the Chip and learn enough about them to overthrow them.
- Crazy-Prepared: 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 30% chance of him committing suicide.
- 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.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: He can accurately predict almost all of your actions before you actually do any of them. (Most of the time, anyway).
- See his Pragmatic Villainy entry. House is often aware of the consequences of his actions, both positive and negative, and if they're significant enough to need to be dealt with he will make plans to do so.
- House was grooming Benny to be his lieutenant, and chooses you to fill the void once Benny betrays him. Why? He recognizes the value of a human ally who can go places and do things he and his securitrons can't.
- Related to this, the first time you speak to him he pointedly refuses to discuss the Platinum Chip, saying that at this stage of your business with him you don't need to know what it does, and only tells you once it's safely in his hands. The last person who he trusted with knowledge about the chip was Benny, and you're just a package courier; House isn't about to let a second betrayal occur under his nose until he's confident he can trust you.
- You can ask House why he trusted such a valuable delivery as the Platinum Chip to a lone courier. House then tells you you were one of numerous couriers he hired, the rest were decoys carrying useless junk, and he hired mercenary teams to clear the roads independent of the couriers. A heavily armed and guarded caravan would have attracted far too much attention, a lone traveler is much more discreet.
- Of the three tribes he united to create The Strip, the Omertas were always a troublesome lot among them. Lately though, they've been quiet and obedient. Obviously they're up to something, so go check it out.
- Subverted when you find the control panel to his life support chamber — it's right out in the open, if very difficult to hack, and the actual chamber itself has absolutely no defense to protect him. It seemingly never occurs to him that giving the player free reign of the Lucky 38 could backfire if they choose to betray him.
- 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.
- Even Evil Has Standards: If you regard him as evil, anyway. 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 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.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Lucky 38, which, barring the odd mountain blocking the view, can be seen from any vantage in the Mojave.
- 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).
- From Nobody to Nightmare: As far as the other major factions are concerned. The NCR didn't even know he existed until he's already seized Hoover Dam, 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.
- Gambit Roulette: He specializes in these, due to his ability to predict and manipulate probabilities. It's even invoked by his Meaningful Name.
- A God I Am Not: His capabilities are god-like but he makes it clear that he don't want to be viewed or worshipped as one.
- Good Is Not Nice: Even if you view him as a good guy, there is no denying that House is open to violence to solve problems and is a very arrogant jerk.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: He's played by Rene Auberjonois, better known in the role of Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Humanoid Abomination: A literal example, since he's classified in the game as an Abomination.
- Hypocritical Humor:
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 The Messiah. 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 read his obituary, drolly 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. Do they deserve to be wiped out? Up to you, since it's possible to get them to reform. 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.
- If the White Glove Society falls off the bandwagon and reverts back to cannibalism, House will tell you that you're free to exterminate them since that's a major breach in their contract.
- 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.
- 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.
- Meaningful Name: In casino-speak, "the House" refers to the casino ownership. And as everyone knows, "the House always wins". And if you choose to go against him and kill him or disconnect him from the network after opening his stasis chamber, you automatically acquire and fail the quest "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.
- Also, see Mr. Alt Disney above for his resemblance to another famous mustaschioed mogul of the Golden Age.
- Not So Different:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
: What of it? I enjoy them. There's something about a little diorama set inside a glass dome that I find...pleasing.
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:
- 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, that's quite the compliment.
- He also 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.
"You see that you and I are of a different strip, do you? We don't have to dream that we're important. We are."
- 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 for electricity, per gallon for water) and allow all NCR citizens to stay in Vegas. While its certainly true that House has his profit margin in mind when doing this (he admits prices may be subject to change without notice) its 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: Even if you view him as evil, House is very calculating and intelligent and does not make wasteful decisions with his resources and allies. For example, 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?
- It's also 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 also made it a point to outlaw cannibalism amongst the White Glove Society and understands that simply sending Securitrons to deal with Benny would be terrible for business.
- Properly Paranoid:
- 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 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 in certain endings where they survive, the Brotherhood rises from the bunker to start attacking caravans and seizing technology from travellers by force.
- 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 — NCR is also Properly Paranoid, concerned that House is planning to use the conflict with the Legion to expand his power beyond the Strip.
- 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.
- 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 not true.
- Self-Made Man: He was orphaned at an early age and cheated out of his inheritance by his half-brother, but though his intelligence and hard work he founded the 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, much less been inside the Lucky 38, until the Courier comes along.
- Sophisticated as Hell: When asked about the White Gloves, he comments they've "put together one hell of a hotel".
- 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!"
- 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.
- ▄bermensch: 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 Pragmatic 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 on 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.
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, right before he shot you in the head twice
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 is thinks he's hot and wants to have sex with him despite that.
- 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.
- 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. This makes sense, as he used to be a wasteland tribal warrior prior to Mr. House's takeover and renovation of New Vegas.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He has a very nice suit and one of the most powerful pistols in the game.
- 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.
- 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 kill him.
- 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 Mighty Glacier former boss.
- In the tie-in graphic novel All Roads, one of the Great Khans he is traveling 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).
- 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.
- 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 him/her, 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 him/her for merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Evil Counterpart: Plays this role to the Courier, regardless of morality. It's telling that in the Collecter's Edition deck of cards, Benny and the Courier are the Jokers.It gets better, the two Jokers in the deck, Benny and the Courier, have those cards for more reasons than just being the Wild Cards. First, in Euchre, the Joker is called the "Benny" card. Second, the Joker cards in Tarot have significant meaning, one Joker meaning the Fool, the other the Magician. The Fool, being the Courier, is the spirit in search of experience (although XP might be a better word for it), and represents mystical cleverness, not bound by normal reason, and possessing an ability to tune into the inner workings of the world, and is often represented by a wanderer walking aimless, often one foot hanging over a void, a step away from falling to his death. Meanwhile, the Magician, being Benny, is a man who practices sleight of hand, trickery, and deception, a stage magician with the initial appearance of great power, but later revealed to have no ability of his own, and can also indicate a manipulator, a trickster, and the ego, as well as the pursuit of personal power, and is often associated with the first step in the Fool's Journey, as well as the potential for new adventure.
- 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 "civilised" the Boot Rider tribe into the Chairmen, they used to engage in honourable 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.
- 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.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Voiced by Matthew Perry, forever to be known as Chandler from Friends.
- I Call It Vera: Benny's gun Maria
- Idiot Ball: Infiltrating the main Legion camp at the Fort. No matter how he went about it, that was too stupid for his own good.
- Hilariously, what gave him away 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 infilitrating his fortress he was actually disappointed such a Worthy Opponent at outsmarting his troops was brought down due to a menial thing like vanity.
- Ironic Echo: If you chose 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.
- 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.
- The Nicknamer: Calls the Courier "Baby" regardless of gender.
- 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 clean up your corpse.
- 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.
"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.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Leo Shishio just dug you out of a grave. Too bad he didn't make you a cyborg.
- 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.
- 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).
- Also, there's a piece of Dummied Out dialogue for the Independent ending that hints at a sadistic side:
"Greetings, General Oliver. The disappointment you're about to experience delights me!"
- 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.
- 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: Arguably, 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.
- Genre Savvy: "Hey, it's not my fault I can't say no."
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Dave Foley, best known as one of The Kids in the Hall, Dave on Newsradio and Flik in A Bug's Life.
- 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
- 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.
"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?"
- 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.
- Stepford Smiler: 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.
- 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:
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 honour. 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:
- Affably Evil: They're very pleasant, despite being former cannibals. The fact that they openly admit to their cannibalistic past just emphasizes how far they've put it behind them.
- 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).
- 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.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Or well, they used to be. Some, like Mortimer, still are.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: While officially Big Sal is actually The Dragon to Nero, the two seem to share equal authority.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.