Cass' sidequest is called "Heartaches By The Number". In addition to referencing the Guy Mitchell song on the soundtrack, Cass inherited her father's heart condition.
In Vault 11, the vault mainframe tells you that while being a martyr isn't as fun as driving a race car, it's every bit as important. The thing is, driving a race car isn't important at all, and neither is being a martyr. The vault computer was never going to wipe out vault 11 if they disobeyed, so nobody needed to die.
The only people outside of the legion who pronounce Ceasar correctly are Marcus and Easy Pete. Marcus is a highly intelligent super-mutant and Easy Pete...is a prospector. Now how would Easy Pete know how to say Ceasar correctly? If you talk to him he mentions that he had a camp out by the Colorado river. The Legion has camps along the Colorado, and usually don't bother merchants. Easy Pete used to trade with the Legion and picked up some of their speech patterns.
In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, blood packs heal 1 hit point per pack. In 3, you can get a perk from the leader of blood-consuming people which increases the hp gain to 20. Why do blood packs heal so little hp, when blood transfusions can save people from the brink of death sometimes? Because the player actually drinks the blood instead of replenishing his/her lost blood from an injury. The Lone Wanderer is taught how to more effectively gain health from drinking blood.
At the end of the game (assuming you're not backing the Legion), you can use your Speech skills against Legate Lanius to convince him that the Legion's attempts to expand into the west will cause the organization to weaken due to its policy of fully integrating conquered peoples into a mono-cultural centralized government. A similar factor in real life caused the Roman Empire to collapse. And in the event that you don't successfully convince him to withdraw, one of the easiest ways to defeat Lanius is to set numerous explosives at the conveniently-placed stairway landing just before him, falling back when he attacks and letting him run on top of them and blowing himself to the moon. Why is this Fridge Brilliance? Because this scenario parallels how the Legion was defeated at the first battle of Hoover Dam by way of trickery and explosives when Graham was their Legate; so for all of the boasting the Legion and Lanius himself makes of him being superior to Graham he can be personally defeated by the same tactics.
At first, it seems like Fridge Logic that wearing Brotherhood of Steel power armor will get you shot on sight by NCR, while no one in the Wastes bats an eyelid at you storming around in a suit of Enclave power armor. Then you realize that, not only have the Enclave been gone for a couple generations, but also the number of Wastelanders who've ever actually seen an Enclave soldier and lived to tell the tale is probably extremely small.
If you take a look at Caesar's SPECIAL stats you will find out that he only ranks 4 in both charisma and intelligence. It first seem like Fridge Logic since he is suppose to be extremely charismatic and possess super intellect. But after you find out that he is suffering from a brain tumor, it makes sense that his skills were being affected as a result of it.
In the deck of cards that come with the collector's edition, Colonel Cassandra Moore is the Queen of Hearts. She's a ball-buster. The King of Hearts? President Kimball. Fittingly the Suicide King because of his obstinate insistence of making a frontline visit with a wily pragmatic foe just over the hill. 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.
Some might wonder why there would be a tribe full of crazy, drugged up psychos west of New Vegas. Then, you visit a Vault a little south of the Fiends territory, which, by reading the logs, you find was a Vault-Tec experiment, filled half with crazy people, the other half people that were intentionally driven insane (the only people who knew what was going on was the overseer of the "sane" group, and the Vault medical staff, including armed guards). The Vault had, amongst other things, an extremely well stocked pharmacy, since it had to medicate some of it's crazies to keep them from hurting other residents. When you get there, you find that there are no bodies and no damage that would be implied to have come from a serious fight, despite the fact that a dangerous gang had moved in. In fact, Vault 19 is in better condition than any save Vault 21, which was still occupied by its original residents. Put this together, and it becomes clear: the Vault Residents, after getting rid of the small number of people who were supposed to control them, left the vault and migrated north and became the Fiends. Why else would there be so many chem addicted psychos gathered together into one group, and why else would their highest ranking members also be the most insane? Because they were descended from people who were already chem addicted and crazy!
In Novac, a sniper who's been helping defend the city asks you to help him uncover and take deadly revenge on the person who sold his wife into slavery. It turns out that's quite a bit easier than you'd think, because the person responsible is keeping the bill of sale in a safe in her office. It even has her signature on it. Why would anyone do something that stupid? As it turns out, the Legion has agreed to pay the person an additional 50% of the sale price if the PREGNANT wife gives birth to a healthy baby. Without the signed bill of sale, the seller has no proof that the Legion owes her a bonus, and the Legion is notorious for reneging on any promise not put in writing (and some of the promises they do put in writing, if they can get away with it). Of course, it turns out the seller would never receive the bonus anyhow, but nobody in Novac except the self-widowed husband can possibly know this until he tells you.
Chris Haversam is a human who believes that he is a ghoul due to radiation exposure from the vault he grew up in. When we visit his home, Vault 34 is filled with ghouls. He either got out just in time, or both the unexpected loss of the reactor engineer and the civil war helped contribute to the reactor being damaged.
How do you make Turbo? By using chems and poison from one of the fastest, most jittery enemies in the game, the Cazador
There is an unmarked quest in which you help an NCR solider working as a chef at Camp Mc Carran to repair his food processor. To do so you will have to either meet a really high repair skill check, or gather a massive list of junk for the replacement parts. And your award for finishing this quest? Just a small discount when buying food from the camp's cafeteria. There is no NCR fame gain, no caps, no increase in karma, and not even any experience points. What is the name of this unmarked quest? Not Worth a Hill of Corn and Beans.
All of the organic companions have this really annoying habit of saying something loudly every time you crouch to sneak anywhere. Everyone except Boone, that is. One of his three tag skills is sneak, so it's entirely possible he's the only person out of six who knows that you shouldn't talk when you're trying to get the jump on someone.
If you head toward Nelson from Novac, the highway will be littered with Legionaries' bodies, even if you have never been that way before/are a Legion sympathizer. After a moment, you realize they're dead because they've been shot down by Manny and Boone.
An interesting example of Gameplay and Story Integration: Arcade has very little dialogue options compared to the other companions. Why? Because he says he hates talking about himself. Which makes sense since he's hiding his past.
That photo of James and Catherine in Vault 21? Probably just an Easter egg. But it may shed some light on some of Fallout 3's plot. James being a native vault dweller himself certainly explains why the paranoid, xenephobic loon of an Overseer was willing to let him into the Vault, as well as Eden's belief that the Lone Wanderer would be free of mutations. It also explains why he though a Vault would be safe, given how notorious they were for ending in the occupants deaths/insanity/mutation/etc. He grew up in one of the only successful Vaults. Given that Vault 21 was discovered and opened by Mr House sometime between 2271 and 2281, it also means he had to have discovered a way to leave the Vault discretely, since he had to have left sometime before 2258 and he didn't alert Mr House to the Vaults location.
There's a child slave at Fortification Hill who has an unmarked quest to retrieve her teddy bear, which is named Sergeant Teddy and was taken away from her by a Legionary. Consider that "Sergeant" is not a term in use in the Legion, and the NCR flag has a two-headed bear on it.
At first, Rex seems like a cliche name for the dog. But Rex is latin for King. Who is it that owns Rex when you first meet him? The King. One also finds out eventually that before Rex met The King, he was owned by Caesar. It also explains why Rex is allowed to run around in the Legion Camp, even when he is a cyborg.
Almost every Nightkin killed by the Ghouls was reduced to a pile of ash. This means they were killed by a critical hit, which is based on luck. Nightkin are invisible most of the time, so it makes sense that lucky shots took them out. Harland, the only truly competent combatant in the group, is the only one that was able to reliably kill Nightkin with regular shots.
Colonel Moore getting mad at you if you spare the Brotherhood seems like she's just kicking the dog, but if you actually listen to her dialogue she indicates that she's afraid they'll betray the Republic after getting what they want out of the alliance. Considering that the Brotherhood did the exact same thing she's suspecting them of prior to the game beginning and the war started by their betrayal is still going on, her suspicions come off as a lot more reasonable. And unless you finish things up juuuuust right, Colonel Moore turns out to be right.
Why does Mr. New Vegas, if the Courier kills Caesar, say it remains unknown how the assassin was able to evade security, regardless of how he was killed? Because it is unknown, even if the Courier slaughtered his or her way across Fortification Hill: there is an army camped outside the Fort proper, and the game provides no explanation for how the Courier and companions manages to evade or get through that obstacle when traveling to and from the Fort after killing Caesar.
In Fallout 3, the color of the menus and icons of the Pipboy are green tint at default. In New Vegas it is Amber. The reason for this is because, while you were given a brand new pipboy of your own in Fallout 3, you were given a old one used by Doc in New Vegas. Once during the course of his life, he changed Amber to become default on the Pipboy.
The talking armor in Old World Blues is lonely because as a stealth suit she can't be seen.
The origin of the expression 'Forlorn Hope' is a dutch saying, 'verloren hoop' that translates to 'lost troops.' It refers to the soldiers sent into battle who are not expected to survive. Camp Forlorn Hope is on the front lines of the Legion conflict, and has a high casualty rate. Well, darn.
An interesting point about the four DLC: they all seem to be related to one of the four main philosophies/Factions.
Dead Money is about the Remnant Elder of the NCR-Brotherhood War.
Honest Hearts is about the surviving former Legate of the Legion.
Lonesome Road is about the past of the Couriers.
Old World Blues is a little harder since it doesn't relate to Mr. House directly. However, OWB is about the pioneers of the Old World, and its technology surviving into the Fallout world. Mr. House is one of those pioneers, and is also responsible for the technology that saved the Mojave and New Vegas from being a total shitstorm.
There's also the mini-securitron and its creator, who hates House.
Along the same lines, each DLC's motif is based off older media.
Dead Money is based off the film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Honest Hearts has many biblical references and can also take elements from Dances With Wolves
Old World Blues has much in common with The Wizard of Oz
Dead Money shows the (Ex-Brotherhood) Father Elijah and how he has manipulated and forced four individuals to do his bidding and crack open the Sierra Madre.
Honest Hearts sees the war between the White-Legs and the Sorrows/Dead Horses who would've died along time ago if not for the guidance of the New Canaanites: Joshua Graham and Daniel who taught the tribes how to fight and defend themselves.
Old World Blues sees a dark shadow of the old world remaining in a desolated crater and frequently references the ability of individuals to triumph over these "Gods of the Old World"; Elijah's escape; Ulysses' "Who are you, who do not know their history" and the subsequent memory relapse; Mobius' creating a permanent and everlasting loop which tricks the research team into never leaving their facility and firmly disbelieving in an outside world; and of course, the Courier who out-maneuvers all these great minds alone and winds up as the new leader of the Big MT Research facility and uses it's technology to influence the Mojave (as shown by the ending cut-scenes.
Lonesome Road is the greatest example of this, as Ulysses is the most terrifying individual in the entire game. A man who is both capable and willing to annihilate the Wasteland in nuclear fire for a second time because he believes that none of the factions he has met are worthy to lead the new world. He manipulates the path the Courier chose, forcing him across highways where he can keep an eye on you and even at one point forces the Courier into launching a nuclear missile to land north of the Divide. The fact that he believes in this philosophy because YOU were the one both gave birth to and killed the Divide only hammers this home. You can even point this out to him at the end of the DLC, that you can do it again.
Veronica's ending if you convince her to stay with the Brotherhood of Steel and make peace with the NCR would seem like it should be the happiest outcome for her, yet that ending is somewhat bittersweet, and actually sounds a lot like Father Elijah. Why? Because if she stays with the Brotherhood she's living way she was raised to by him.
A distance had arisen between her and her fellow members that would never be bridged. She began secluding herself in crumbling libraries of the Old World, learning of promising technologies she knew the Brotherhood would never adopt.
There are heavy inconsistencies about what you hear about Legate Lanius. One person says that he was the strongest warrior in his tribe, another says that he became a praetorian at thirteen. Neither are really compatible. But this suddenly makes sense once Ulysses implies that Lanius is a Legacy Character. His origins don't match up because they're different people. This also explains why his face isn't messed up underneath the mask when you kill him. The Lanius that got damaged was a previous one.
Blowing up the Brotherhood of Steel's bunker may seem like a strange case of A Million Is a Statistic, being as it subtracts significantly less Karma than just killing everyone in it individually. However, it should be noted that the self-destruct sequence is neither instantaneous (to allow all personnel to evacuate), nor secretive (thanks to the alarm that goes off). Judging by this, one could see destroying the base as the more merciful option (provided you don't kill anyone in the process), for as dickish a move it may be, it at the very least gives the Brotherhood a chance to evacuate. It can be safe to imagine that at least some got out alive, though we don't get to see that due to Game Play And Story Segregation.
The entire naming convention for Big Mountain reeks of Fridge Brilliance. For starters, after the Great War it is nicknamed the Big Empty, due to its vast swath of supposedly empty land, as seen from the outside of the crater. Now, Big Mountain is also abbreviated Big Mt. Big M T. Not only that, but there is actual location in Arizona called Big Mountain. While it isn't home to any scientific labs, it is known by another name. Black Mesa. Amazing, the coincidences that make up life.
Mobius and Old World Blues:
While speaking with Dr. Mobius in Old World Blues about how to defeat the Think Tank without violence, he'll shrug (as much as he can, anyway), and suggest appealing to their humanity. He quotes: "Well, there's many things they have forgotten sitting in their bowls. Friendship. The thrill of discovery. Love. Masturbation. The usual." At first glance, this just seems like some funny line of dialogue with a Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick joke to it...except all of those things are exactly what you can do to talk the Think Tank down! Borous can recall his love and fondess for his dog, Gabe. 8 can be thrilled when he sees how well the Sonic Emitter he created works after it's upgraded, as well as learn a thing or two about empathy if you opt not to hack into him. And Dala...gets quite excited at watching you breathe. This also accounts for how thick the innuendo is spread over the whole DLC, what with sonojaculation, X-13 filling the stealth suit up, and other instances. You're in a research facility, isolated from the outside world even before the great war, especially with only one female on the team. It makes sense the Think Tank would be sexually pent up, especially after they had to be put in brain jars to survive.
Another instance with Mobius is when you ask about why the Think Tank needs the technologies, he explains that each one is representative of the Brain, Heart, and Courage (represented with the spine), and that the process of getting them is to reclaim those lost concepts of humanity. He likens the whole concept to some old story about "a band of murderous thugs" who sought them out without realizing they had them all along. This sounds like a Future Imperfect recollection of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. However, a popular interpretation of the story is that Dorothy and company wereDesignated Heroes who set out to murder the Wicked Witch of the West, despite her never actually doing anything all that villainous anywhere in the story, simply because the Wizard told them to. Looks like he might have shared that view.
The Wizard of Oz analogy goes further. In the movie Dorothy's companions each wanted certain qualities, namely a brain, a heart, and courage. In the game, the surgery done to the courier removes their brain, their heart, and their spine. Cowardly people are often referred to as being spineless. Not to mention the similarity in the methods of arrival to the Big MT and Oz the characters went through.
Chris Haversam was sainted after helping the Bright Brotherhood make their journey. St. Christopher was sainted after helping Christ cross a dangerous river. St. Christopher was offered a last chance to avoid martyrdom when the king of Lycia sent him beautiful women to tempt him away from his religion. You can convince Chris he's human and should sabotage the rockets at the nth hour if you're playing as female Courier and have the Black Widow perk. Also, he's a revered religious figure who enabled the followers to reach a paradise in the heavens through his selfless dedication and sacrifice and Chris is one letter off from ... ? Also, Saint Christopher was the Patron Saint of travel. And oh, boy, do the Ghouls have a long trip in front of them.
The Karma loss from stealing from even gangs like powder gangers. Sure they are evil, but there has been a somewhat unsavory reputation with prospectors as Daniel will tell you. So by just plain looting everything on sight, you are being a filthy prospector. Although in a balance mod made by Project Director Joshua Sawyer, the alignment of all Powder Ganger NPCs was set to Evil so that stealing from them would no longer affect your Karma. Take that as you will.
There are many Ranger Stations throughout the Mojave, but the one just north of Searchlight happens to have a very large number of NCR Ghouls. Since Searchlight was hit with a dirty bomb and is now a radioactive hellhole, the NCR obviously decided to put all of their radiation-resistant rangers as close as they can to it in case they need to get into the town!
It is literally impossible, even with a critical hit, for Maria (the gun used by Benny to shoot the Courier in the head) to kill the player in the opening cutscene using the combat damage tables. Even at level 1, Endurance 1, no armor, and assuming Benny has maxed Guns skill (which he doesn't), it does not do enough damage to kill with the critical and headshot bonuses to damage. This is either a bow to realism (this is a lethal injury) or Fridge Brilliance (those two shots to the head don't kill The Courier after all…)
Caesar's arrogance under Idiot Ball: After 'killing' Joshua Graham, the only other well-educated and independent man in the Legion, Caesar will be constantly surrounded by obedient subordinates that worship him as a god-figure. He's living inside an echo-chamber where his ideas and opinions are always right and no one will ever consider anything else. The courier is probably the first free agent that he's met in a very long time, and Caesar would naturally assume that you too will bend under his will like so many others. He may even be so far gone into megalomania that the idea that you'd defy him is something he can't even admit to himself anymore.
California, Caesar, and House are all kinds of salads. As is Cobb.
Everyone talks about how corrupt NCR has become under Kimball. But flash back to Fallout 2 and you'll see an NCR that's aggressively trying to expand, is willing to let you beat up a prisoner since he's a jerk and they really need the information, is unduly influenced by brahmin barons, has a shoot-first approach to criminals, and is in a state of imperial presidency. NCR is no more corrupt than it ever was—it's just that over the last forty years its citizens have become more idealistic and now expect better of their country!
Why is pre-war money worth anything?
Genuine pre-war money is nearly impossible to forge and there only exist a finite amount of it in post war America. While the value of the numbers on it are long gone, the actual material and markings have rarity value. Once said value is supported by enough merchants via the backed currency or useful materials, it becomes a usable trading material.
Historical value. Having that money in your pawn collection would serve as a reminder of what America used to be like, it serves as a symbol of when their ancestors were part of the United States of America and not part of a Wasteland. Anyone with pre-war money would use it as a symbol for how great America once was and how great they can be again.
Alternative idea: toilet paper. Do you see any toilet paper in the world? No, no you don't. American "paper" money is actually a type of cloth, so it would be sturdy enough to wipe your ass with.
I Put a Spell on You (a quest in which you have to root out a spy in camp MC Carran) is a Guide Dang It, since if you follow the compass markings and report to Captain Curtis about the break-in in the radio tower, you fail the quest. Why is the compass pointing at him then? Because he leads the investigation. Unless you are smart enough to figure he is in the ideal spot to both spy on the camp and escape being identified as the spy, you have no reason not to report to him. So the game cleverly uses the interface to put you in the Courier's perspective.
Vault 21, the gambler's vault, was placed under what is now New Vegas. 21 is the highest possible winning score in blackjack and is also three times seven. Vault 21 is one of the few Vaults that we know of that didn't implode in on itself or get ransacked by savage raiders, especially considering it wasn't a "control" Vault. This makes the inhabitants of Vault 21 quite lucky indeed.
Why are there no long haired options for the Courier? You're in a desert. Long hair would be rather impractical, especially being a courier. You were also very recently shot in the head. It stands to reason that Doc Mitchell might have trimmed your hair, if it was long before the game started, to make operating easier.
Also, long hair is a bad idea if you plan on fighting. If you have long hair, it becomes easier to grab it. The world being what it is, quite a few pragmatists are likely to be around.
A couple characters, namely Caesar and Yes-Man, speculate that House keeps a giant robot in the bunker under Fortification Hill. At first, this sounds like a Mythology Gag that references Liberty Prime from Fallout 3...except in game, you can actually find pre-war photographs of Mr. House posing in front of a large robot◊ (which may very well be Liberty Prime, being as it was a joint project between the US Army, General Atomics International, and House's own Rob Co). Looks like their speculation wasn't so baseless after all.
Save for the Lucky 38, all of the casinos on the Strip have some sort of theme going on: The Ultra-Luxe is "classy", The Tops has a "Rat Pack" motiff, and Gomorrah is...Gomorrah. The Lucky 38, however, could almost be called "generic": there's no discernible theme or asthetic to the place. But it doesn't need one: The Lucky 38 is from Pre-War Vegas, which presumably had far more casinos to pick from—it may have even sold itself as an alternative to the themed casinos back then—and the whole place is really just House's Mission Control. It's also been sealed for 200 years anyway, so no-one's been in there since.
When thinking about it, it seemed odd at first how "ED-E My Love" turns out—that the Followers increase his offense and the Brotherhood increases his defense. However: While even the lowly Fiends use energy weapons left and right, only the Brotherhood uses Power Armor. That is if you don't count the Remnants...
The prevalence of Rad-Away and Rad-X in Jason Bright's room seems like simply a funny oversight. However, it's actually for Chris. Since Chris believes he's a ghoul and would ignore radiation dangers, Jason must either trick or cajole Chris into taking it, or have it ready if Chris gets sick.
The Fallout world:
The world as a whole is a warped, post-apocalyptic late-20th/early-21st century vision of The Fifties, Caesar's Legion is warped, post-apocalyptic, late-20th/early-21st century vision of the Roman villains of Sword And Sandal epics which reached their apogee in the fifties, such as Spartacus, Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, etc.
The Wild West theme makes perfect sense too. The Fifties was a golden age of the Western. So that makes Fallout New Vegas a pastiche of multiple Fifties genres.
Additionally, the political situation (an "Eastern" and a "Western" faction fighting over the fate of a less-powerful faction caught in the middle) reflects that of the Cold War, right down to the Easterners being associated with the color red, and with the East being one entity that actively sought to impose its culture on the tribes it assimilated. And which was thought to keep its people in practical slavery. And that third world country's dictator is trying to curry favour from whoever can protect it best while setting up his own plans. And would be overthrown by anyone involved, even The Dragons.
Ghouls in the Mojave:
Compared to the Capital Wasteland, Ghouls in the Mohave seem to be accepted by society or at least aren't actively discriminated against (except for the Legion anyway). While this could be the result of the NCR's expansion bringing in ghouls from California, it could also be the indirect result of both the Vault Dweller and Chosen One's actions in the previous games removing their stigma. It'd make sense that over time, they'd spread outside not only the NCR but also out of the West Coast.
One of the founding cities of the NCR was Dayglow, a community founded by Ghouls from Necropolis who used their radiation immunity to salvage technology from the nearby Glow (a large heavily radiated pre-war research facility) to trade it. Based on its location on the Fallout 1 map, the Glow is very close to the western border of the map, close to Nevada. It's likely that contact with ghoul traders who brought valuable technology has made the people of the Mojave more accepting.
Killing the NCR:
Given how it's possible to destroy most factions in-game (whether at gunpoint or indirectly), one in particular seems to stand out as immune: the New California Republic. With the exception of spreading the Cloud in Dead Money and targeting the nukes westward in Lonesome Road, one may notice that even in the least pleasant endings, it's nigh impossible to really take down the Bear, the worst case scenarios being a humiliating retreat to California and the surviving leaders either tried for incompetence or having the last laugh. This could very much be due to just how powerful the NCR's become since its origins in Shady Sands, to the point that not even the Courier's history-changing acts could really harm it.
Its also a testament to the real power of a democracy. Take out Caesar, and the Legion falls apart. Take out Lanius, and the Legion falls apart faster. Take out House, and all his machinations fall to pieces as well. Three well placed bullets and two of the biggest players in the Mojave are gone. But take out Kimball and Oliver, and, well...the Bear's government remains perfectly viable and they just elect a new leader and promote another officer to fill the vacant spots. Authoritarian governments can be destroyed by a well-placed blow to their leadership, but a democracy can't die that easily.
At the same time, choosing to spare Kimball and Oliver shows that this strength is a double-edged sword. Killing them (or letting them die) turns them into martyrs for their cause; letting them live with their failure, however, turns them into scapegoats for the general population, who need someone to blame for the massive pooch screw that the NCR just went through.
Ulysses's targets for the Nukes in Lonesome Road. He goes on in detail how the I-15 is a critical route for the NCR's occupation of the Mojave, and could possibly end the NCR as a nation. Dry Wells was the home of his tribe, a personal point in Ulysses's history that gave him much grief. Destroying his "home" would validate his philosophy about a Home being one's destiny rather than a place a birth (As well as his ultimate plan in Lonesome Road). However, a glaring flaw in this plan is that he doesn't nuke Hoover Dam/New Vegas/The Fort instead; literally ending the conflict in the Mojave as well as destroying all factions. This appears to be a Wallbanger at first until one remembers how Robert House saved Vegas by shooting down and redirecting nearly all incoming missiles (And this was without the platinum chip.)Ulysses would have likely realized this after researching more about House, thus he wouldn't dare waste an attack on one who could defend against his missiles(He also has a grudging respect for relics of the Old World such as the Think Tank. His dialogue for a House aligned character is mostly criticism for following a shadow.). Ulysses's targets are optimal since they undermine the Legion and the NCR, not House. House wouldn't bother stopping against either faction since his ultimate goal is to remove them both anyway. Ulysses's plan is brilliant since it not only cripples both main factions but also indirectly harms Vegas because of House's hubris.
In the Legion Ending, when the Courier receives his/her reward, she's kneeling before Caesar, but standing before Lanius (if he ends up in charge). This seems odd Before you realise it sums up your relationship with character: no matter your competences, Caesar will always see the Courier as a servant/inferior, whereas Lanius sees you as an equal and acknowledges the Courier's worth even if she's a woman.
The entire Theme of Dead Money is "Letting go". While it seems to be referring to letting go of the Madre and the gold in it, it could also be applied both to all the other DLC's and the Base game. Think about it; In the base game, House cannot let go of the past, the NCR cannot let go of Hoover Dam or the Mojave despite how much it's costing them, and the Legion simply will not let go of the Mojave either, unable to accept it's defeat earlier at the hands of the NCR. For the other DLC's, Joshua Graham couldn't let go of his burning desire for revenge against the white legs as well as the Legion, unless you help him. The Think Tank is unable to let go of the idea that despite the fact they are basically repeating experiments and making zero progress, they are still helping with advancing SCIENCE or Mankind. Again, the Courier can help them with this, giving the Mojave access to the technology in a controlled fashion. Finally, Ulysses cannot let go of what you did to The Divide, unless you (again) convince him to step down. In fact, this applies to YOU, the Courier, even outside Dead Money. If you choose to kill Benny, you've been unable to let go. Sure, he deserves it, but the lengths you go to achieve this are ridiculous!
When going in the old Mormon fort where the Followers of the Apocalypse operate from, you can see mostly gamblers inside. Gambling addiction is a mental illness, and can be quite debilitating in New Vegas.
Cook-Cook REALLY stinks. He also REALLY likes his pet cow. Guess what cows re-actively do when you try to shove them from behind...
Think about it. If you activate the Archimedes II Orbital Weapons Platform BEFORE you get the targeter away from a young boy who thinks its a toy ray gun, and who is always playing with his little friends and shooting it at them... Fortunately, Veronica comments on the fact that the safety is still on when you get it.
There were 17 Vaults where absolutely nothing was built to go horrifically wrong. One of them was Vault 3... who lived happily and peacefully for years until they opened their door to let in a group of Wasteland survivors: the Fiends.
And the fiends are likely the survivors of a vault south of Vault 3, that was originally filled half with people suffering serious mental disorders, and the other half intentionally exposed to stimuli that would slowly drive them insane. If Vault 3 was a "safe" vault, which probably housed the descendants of Vault-Tec employees and executives seeking to avoid the horrors of the war (naturally, the Vault-Tec staff wouldn't want to be stuck in a Vault that wasn't expected to save anyone), then it might be Laser-Guided Karma that their descendants would be wiped out by the survivors of one of Vault-Tec's cruel experiments
The problem that Vault 3 had, which caused them to open the vault door in the first place, is nearly identical to what happened to the vault in Fallout 1. With a little bit worse luck or timing, the story of that game could have ended almost as soon as it began. Remember that the vault in Fallout 1 was in the mountains, where as Vault 3 was in the middle of a major, mostly spared city.
Vault 22's Spore Carriers are the former residents of the Vault, infected with a fungus that basically kills them and reanimates them as mutated, zombie-like beings. There's a particular type called the Spore Carrier Runt, which is much smaller than the other ones. Since they were former vault residents, guess what the smaller ones were.
Vault 21 actually did rather well, considering that it was filled with compulsive gamblers and every disagreement was settled by chance. Of course, Mr. House took it over, evicted the agoraphobic residents who didn't want to work for him, and filled most of the place with concrete...but the experiment itself was a success.
The sign outside of the church in Searchlight has the Bible verse Revelations 9:6 displayed on it. For those of you that haven't been there yet the NCR garrison in Searchlight was wiped out due to Legion sabotage exposing them to overwhelming radiation from toxic waste. Most of the garrison became feral ghouls. A single survivor turned into a "normal" ghoul who remained sane and intelligent. What does Revelations 9:6 say? "During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them."
The first time you're in the Silver Rush, you see Gloria Van Graff making a violent example of a poor unfortunate hostage to "convince" someone to pay what he owes. If you use VATS and focus on the hostage, he's a Van Graff thug. The logic continues when you ask Gloria for a job, she says "a position just opened up." You're filling in for the guy who just got vaporized. Explored in cut content; there was an extended scene, where, Gloria would talk about how the Vangraff thug was her lover that she caught cheating on her in Gomorrah. She states, though, that she loves him and asks the customer if he thinks her broken faith in him will make his punishment any less brutal. After he's vaporized, she warns the customer to never break faith with the Vangraffs.
Cazadores are already fairly horrific, but it gets even worse when you learn that they are based on the Tarantula Hawk wasp. Why? Because the Tarantula Hawk, aside from having one of the most painful stings in the world, has toxins so that it can paralyze tarantulas and lay their eggs in them. This creates even more unpleasant implications than usual when your character dies to them. Similarly, Bloatflies have a very similar name to another, real life creature: bot flies, a species of fly that lays parasitic larvae on large mammals (in a few species, this includes humans) that munch on their hosts before pupating and emerging as full-sized flies. Those things they are shooting at you? Weaponized larvae. They aren't just trying to kill you, they are trying fill you full of their young. Now imagine what happens when a fly the size of a football tries pushing its way out of a person. At the rate they fire, this could be upwards of a half dozen of them, too.
Melody, the little slave girl in the fort. Considering the Legion's attitude to women, the attitude the society they were based on had to children (Emperor Tiberius' "tiddlers" come to mind) and Siri's remark about how Legion men usually "leave child and elderly slaves alone," the way she insists that all she does is carry food and tend to the brahmin seems just a little too fast. Bonus points for being kept in a pen literally just down the hill from the totally-looks-the-type Caesar, and even more bonus points for there being zero options to help her.
Should you ever encounter a dead female NPC with no clothes on as you find her, it is likely implied that she was raped before she was murdered. Example: the dead Crimson Caravan guard between the NCRCF and Goodsprings that was presumably part of Ringo's caravan.
The Trauma Harnesses in Old World Blues were designed as exosuits that would take control when the wearer was maimed, bringing him back to base for medical treatment. It's revealed that no one designated a home base for the prototypes in the Big Empty, meaning that they still wander as literal walking dead. However, by gameplay mechanics, having a crippled limb isn't going to kill you in the Fallout universe...meaning that they likely starved inside the suits.
In the Divide, Deathclaws are most prominent on the highway/High Road and mostly absent in other areas. They don't spread to the other areas because they would have to pass Tunneler territory, and either don't make it through that or because the Deathclaws are actually scared of another creature. You can find a dead deathclaw in the tunnel. One that seemingly died cowering inside an overturned dump truck.
When Ranger Andy sends you to check on ranger station charlie, if you visit the station before andy asks you to do so, you might notice a legion strike team atop the nearby ridge, or in the nearby valley, watching the ranger station through binoculars. It was always going to happen, and you didn't do anything to stop it. (It'll just be another squad if you kill them, though.)
Lonesome Road has ED-E's story of being raised by a nice Enclave Scientist who cared for it like a father. Then you come to the realization that Whitely was probably one of the no-name scientists the player gunned down as the Lone Wanderer. And if he wasn't, then he probably was executed for insubordination/treason by Colonel Autumn (Whitley did sneak away valuable Hellfire armor from the Enclave, and would be a top suspect for it given that he'd already indicated un-Enclave-like concern for the ED prototypes).
Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas both have instances in slaver camps where there are stripper poles with teddy bears scattered nearby. This has disturbing implications.
There are Fallout 2's and New Vegas' outcomes for some of the cities, if you kept Vault City independent from NCR, you effectively placed a good deal of the population in permanent servitude since without NCR's meddling, they will not bother with the servants in the city. Meanwhile, NCR's victory in New Vegas give Warhawks more political sway and will pave way to something worse.
Consider the name "Dogmeat." Maybe it isn't just a grimly clever name. Maybe it's not a name at all. Maybe it's more like a label. A label that could apply to more than just the companion.
Vault 69 (999 Women, 1 Man) and Vault 68 (999 Men, 1 Woman). At first glance, it looks like just a coy joke at the number 68 and 69 and were done by Penny Arcade for a Fallout book, but they're still claimed to be of existence in the series. Imagine the fate of the single man or woman in the vaults...
The NCR Ranger stations are named after military alphabet designation (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc). Camp Golf, the Rangers' headquarters, is the House Resort, which has a golf course with some of the old signs being used around the tents. At first, it seems like Camp Golf is named so because of the golf course, but looking at military letter designations, "Golf" is for G. The final Ranger station is Foxtrot, for letter F. Knowing Obsidian, it was probably both, as a Stealth Pun
Have you noticed how Victor is in the front of every elevator door in the Lucky 38 to guide you between the floors? Well, he also does this in your lounge. And he stays right in front of your bed. Watching you sleep. And remember, he can jump from any Securitron to another in seconds (you can see it happen when you first go to the Lucky 38), so he could be anywhere at any time. In all likelihood, he isn't even doing it consciously. House can make him do it directly. House has been watching you through Victor the whole time.
There are several hints suggesting that at least a good number of people in the days leading up to the War itself were aware that it was only a matter of time before the end. Whether it's Mr. House's ridiculously accurate predictions (and preparations), Sinclair's hastiness in building the Sierra Madre Villa or the details in Randall Clark's holotapes, the idea that folks knew that doomsday was coming, with most of them likely to die anyway and no way to avert it would have made Pre-War America essentially as horrifying as Cold War era America, which is terrifying for children and millenials.
Did you notice the Necropolis Theme when you enter the Followers Outpost? If you complete Veronica's quest by defecting to the Followers, it becomes a necropolis.
You will never forget walking through the Bison Steve hotel and finding a room of fantastic loot. Look at all the med-X and the knife, if I can just move this body out of that bathtub. It isn't until much later when you why someone may be in a locked bathroom with the bombs falling outside surrounded by morphine (Med-X) and a knife.
When a female Courier visit the Fort for the first time, Siri will warn you to be careful since she overheard some legionnaires whispering about "trying you out". At first glance, you might be tempted to just laugh it off, since you are such a Badass Action Girl that you have most likely been completely brutalizing the entire Legion before you even reached the Strip, and that any attempt of rape will likely result in you giving them a harsh lesson on why they should respect women. However, keep in mind that you were disarmed most likely had most (if not all) of you weapons confiscated when you entered the Fort. Meaning that if you have have not been investing skill points into unarmed combat by relying on guns/energy weapons/speech up until that point, you will suddenly make the horrible realization that you are a lot more vulnerable then you might like to think. This vulnerability is further illustrated during the White Glove Society quest "Beyond the Beef", in which when you got ambushed by the two White Glove members armed with dress canes in the investigator's hotel room, a Courier that wasn't able to sneak a holdout weapon passed security and didn't invest skills in unarmed combat will suddenly find herself having a very hard time fighting them off, especially when compared to the rest of the game, in which you can shoot your way past your enemies with little difficulty.
Yes and no. Caesar needed the Courier at this point and the Mark of Caesar guarantees her safe passage unless she directly becomes hostile. He would probably have put his men to the cross if they decided to try her out. Also she doesn't have every defence stripped from her upon entering the fort such as the various companions that potentially includes an Enclave Eyebot constructed of the same stuff they make Hellfire armour, a Super Mutant, a robot guard dog, the Animal Friend 2 perk and if she's really lucky she is also wearing a hulking great T51-B. The real question becomes less could she fight back if they betrayed her and more just how Too Dumb to Live was she when she went unprepared to the headquarters of an army of murdering rapist slavers who hate women?
In-universe when dealing with a Fake Ultimate Hero, if you have enough Intelligence your character can point it out.
Courier: You fired three shots and four of them fell down.