Headscratchers: Fallout: New Vegas
Read at your own discretion, as spoiler tags are about as common as a pretty-looking Ghoul.
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- This one apparently applies to Fallout 3 as well, but since it's only mentioned in New Vegas, I put it here: Who the hell designs a landmine that can be disarmed by pushing a button on top of the mine itself? I get that it's a proximity mine, but that's still a huge design flaw; You could just stomp around after you hear it beep (another design flaw, but that's for gameplay reasons, so it's more excusable). And they didn't have to make it that way. The developers could have made the line where you explain to the Legion how to disarm them a string of Technobabble or something, but instead they decided to make it the dumbest thing ever. It's like putting an accelerometer in a grenade and dousing the fuse if it moves too quickly.
- Those mines were likely designed for ease of deployment and redeployment. Since they're using proximity-based detectors instead of pressure-based, they can afford to have a simple and easy way to disarm the mine to pick it up and put it somewhere else. Stomping around wildly is actually unlikely to disarm it, as all you'd need to do would be to design the button so it needs to be pressed past the top of the casing, which would require something like a stick or a finger pressing down. Also, most of the time, by the time you've heard the mine beeping, you barely have any time to do anything, let alone start randomly stomping around to find the mine. If the proximity detector is wide-ranging enough that it can pick up a target and detonate outside of the range a human can move in a second or two, then its extremely unlikely that the mine could be disarmed before it blows.
Who made the Ranger's Badass Longcoat?
- Everyone knows about theses awesome armours which are in the cover of the game... But what I really don't understand is who built each part of it? It is said in the game that theses armours date from before the nuclear holocaust. Some of them were made for the LAPD SWAT, others for the Army. When factions arised, they started to build theses armours. The problem is, when you come in "New Vegas", you see that theses armours are also equipped with a Badass Longcoat. And everyone says that this Longcoat don't come from before the war, but from the Desert Rangers, which are now part of the NCR. So, the hypothesis is, both the NCR and the Desert Rangers found theses armours. The Desert Rangers made a longcoat which was their Ace Custom trademark. When both the NCR Rangers and Desert Rangers united, they decided to use this longcoat as the mark of the Veteran Rangers, the elite of the elite, and probably made all the Desert Rangers go directly into the Vets corps. The only difference is that now the Longcoat is made by the NCR, with the NCR Bear sign on it. The problem comes with the DLC... First of all, in "Honest Hearts", we find an armour which is titled "Desert Ranger Combat Armour", without the Bear sign on the Longcoat. So, in all logics, it should be an authentic piece of armour from before the union with the NCR... Except that the armour never belonged to a Desert Ranger, but a USMC Marine and then the Survivalist! None of them ever entered in contact with the Desert Rangers. Then, in "Lonesome Road", we find the Riot Gear. The Advanced and Elite Riot Gear are under the control of the NCR Veteran Rangers (And their new Desert buddies), so there again, no problems. Except that you can, with terminals, access pre-war riot gear from the military base, which already have a Longcoat on it. So, in the end, who the heck invented the bloody Badass Longcoat which goes with the armour? And if the Desert Rangers never built them but it was always with them, why the heck does everyone in the Mojave keep saying that it is their trademark? Or why does the armour we find in Zion titled "Desert Ranger" combat armour?
- Well Tycho, the Desert Ranger companion from Fallout 1 was described as wearing this armor, so likely it's the original armor for the Rangers and was just adopted by the NCR Rangers when they unified, at which point they took over manufacturing it in the LA Boneyard. It wouldn't have been hard for the original Rangers to loot them from Vegas police buildings.
- The NCR Black armor (riot armor) is not manufactured in the NCR, the Patrol armor is, the riot armor is scavenged. And the Elite Riot armor in the Divide is the one used by the US military, no link to the NCR. There is also no source that the Desert Rangers added the Coat. The Survivalist armor was originally worn by a Texas Ranger and the Desert Rangers are descendents of the Texas Rangers, who have worn the Riot armor before the war, so why shouldn't the survivalist armor have a longcoat? For all we know the coat could have been standard for all riot armor. The NCR rangers didn't use the riot armor before the desert rangers joined them.
- Why, if the player is supposed to feel an emotional impact/responsibility for the destruction of the Divide, did they not include a quest, before the DLC main storyline starts, where the player might actually make the delivery that we are being blamed for. It just seems like bad writing to ask a player to feel bad about something that our character did before we took control of them. They could have just snuck a minor fetchquest into the main game, and it would have been much more impactful, since you would actually have the opportunity to experience/forget the allegedly easily-forgotten event that the DLC revolves around.
- The PC "Courier" begins the game with a bullet in the head and minimal knowledge and skill as evidence of memory loss. It is impossible to say that the player's accuser is wrong (since the Courier doesn't remember being in The Divide) and it is likely that the accuser is correct. However that accuser also states in dialog that the Courier most likely performed those actions unwittingly and unknowingly and appears to be acting mostly out of spite.
- I can see what you mean, though there are stories out there that are based on the character now having to deal with the consequences of something he/she did before the story began. I haven't played much of that DLC, but it is jarring that apparently our Courier blew up a large chunk of land for some reason or another and outside the DLC, he/she acts like it had never happened.
- The Courier didn't realize. The point was that it's a But for Me, It Was Tuesday kind of thing, with the worst day in Ulysses's life being just another delivery for the Courier. Therefore, it would have been so much more meaningful if we got to take part in the Tuesday in question, because then the What the Hell, Hero? and the Player Punch actually apply, instead of just being something we're told happened. Honestly, if the Courier had known that they blew up the Divide, that would have made the lack of a quest where we do just that a better decision, then it's about the player realizing they have been controlling a monster this whole time. But with the "even the smallest actions can have huge consequences" theme, it makes no sense that we should have to accept the consequences of an action we didn't even do.
- Because the delivery happened before the game started. From the beginning of the game on and through the various add-ons, you learn that Ulysses considered the Courier a massive danger even before he/she was shot in the head. Pretty much the only way to handle that would've been to make a flashback out of it. ("And then I did a really dull fetch quest")
- That's even dumber. That would only be a meaningful line to have to cross if we were somehow led to believe that getting shot in the head is what made the Courier dangerous, rather than being motivation to hunt Benny down (which is a whole other problem I have with the plot, but whatever).
- Making it a fetch quest would be missing the point, that you don't get/have any information from your point of view. The Courier was long gone, by the time the Divide went ker-plooie. That's the whole point. You were so gone, you didn't even hear/feel the Divide get nuked. Do you know just how far you'd have to walk, to not feel several multi-megaton blasts going off? And on foot, no less? You are gone, gone, gone. To the point that the defining, turning-point in Ulysses life, where he focuses solely upon the person, the one, singular person who shattered his very spirit... Who didn't even realise the place that the Divide used to be was gone, much less what it had been called beforehand. It's no wonder he's so patient explaining it all to you. He's shadowed you for years now, you have to know why he did it, why he's doing all this, to make it all matter. To Ulysses, it can't be nothing after all this time, and pain. And that is what makes it so good.
- Well then, have us bring ED-E to some bad guy, or robot, that then takes it the rest of the way to the Divide. Still the Courier's fault, for all the same reasons, and we get to experience enough of it for it not to feel like a huge Ass Pull.
- The Courier is not the Lone Wanderer or the Chosen One or the Vault Dweller. They were all fairly unremarkable before the game started. The Courier had a respected career behind him/her before he/she started. Therefore there's no reason why noteworthy things couldn't have happened as a result of his/her deliveries before Benny grabbed him/her and indeed it would be odd if they hadn't. The fact that you didn't play the delivery adds to the point; this was a normal job the Courier did long enough ago that he/she can't remember it and had no idea it would have this effect. As such your emotional reaction to the Divide (or lack thereof) mirrors the Couriers.
- Exactly. I don't think it's really intended to be a Player Punch or What the Hell, Hero? type of moment, as much as it's meant to make The Courier (and thus the player) feel like they're being Misblamed, and set Ulysses up as being misguided and unbalanced by his obsession. Ulysses attempts to invoke What the Hell, Hero?, but his perspective of the situation is somewhat warped. Sure, there's an element of shock when you hear about what's happened,, but Ulysses' take on the matter is simply misguided.
God's idle comments
- In Dead Money, why does God sometimes comment that the "air tastes like copper....or old world gold"? I just really don't get why he makes the distinction about the gold the air allegedly tastes like being from before the war.
- Probably just an indication of how gold is looked upon as a relic of the old world.
- This is an odd thing to say. Gold has no smell.
- The Sierra Madre is pre-war and very few people have been there since. Whatever is valuable there has not been touched since the first bombs detonated, making it as literally pre-war as you can get. And the value of the contents, on the level of gold (in addition to the actual gold), is almost palpable. Everyone that enters the Sierra Madre is hoping to get their hands on that treasure and God is remarking on the allure. The air smells like copper due to the pollutants... but it also smells like old world gold due to the allure and promise of treasure from before the war.
- The air tastes like copper or gold, not smells. Yes, gold has no smell but it does have a taste. The air in the Villa clearly tastes metallic and God is going straight to gold for the reasons stated above.
- "Old World gold" is most likely a mangled form of "black gold", which is an euphemism for crude oil. Reasons: gold is present in the post-war America, oil is not; crude oil smells like sulfur; Elijah mentions that the Cloud smells like copper and sulfur.
- The ammunition for energy weapons makes no sense, and the changes they made from how it worked in Fallout 3 just draw attention to it. The number of "cells" or whatever is set in your inventory, but each weapon uses a different amount per shot, and per magazine, even though the object you are visually loading into the weapon is supposed to be the actual "cell" itself, with the weapon depleting charges. There's no way to reconcile this, as far as I can tell.
- Think of these as ammunition that you place into a clip, which then fits the gun. Several types of firearms use 7.62, but all of the clips look different. Or, the cells "charge" the clip through a universal adapter.
- That seems like a copout, but it's about as close to a logical answer as I think can be said about this. Though it still begs the question of why visually identical "clips," when loaded into different weapons, hold a different number of charges.
- I'm no electrical engineer, but here's my theory. I'd say that the ammo count you have is totally electrical energy of a specific voltage optimized for that type of cell, (how they get charged automatically is the same reason you don't have to manually insert your ammo into your magazines). Each cell contains a certain amount of that electricity, and different weapons have different power draws. but let's say a standard energy cell contains say, 1000 watts. A standard laser pistol discharge only uses 33 watts, allowing about 30 shots, while a plasma defender that gets 16 shots uses 62 watts per discharge. Modifications like high-capacity terminals increase the capacity of the cell itself, so rather than the guns using less energy, the batteries simply have more watts in them, and they don't work with non-modified weapons so you can't transfer the better batteries.
- That still doesn't explain it all, though. You can pick up a single physical battery, labeled as holding 40 charges, or whatever, and then have to reload the gun you use it in after it's used 12 charges to fire 6 times.
- I think the nature of Energy Weapons, being a science fiction construct, are abstracted for Rule of Fun: it's not very fun to manually load each individual cell into a weapon.
Med-X and Rad-X
- Why, at several points in medical situations that should call for a Stimpak or Radaway, does the dialogue call for the use of Med-X or Rad-X, instead? For instance: Boxcars asks for Med-X, when a Stimpak would help much more with his crippled legs, and in Bitter Springs, when you need to clean some irradiated medical supplies, you're given the option of "flushing them with Rad-X," which doesn't even make sense, considering that Rad-X are pills, while Rad Away is a liquid.
- Boxcars doesn't want Med-X to treat his legs. He wants Med-X so he can overdose on it to die a painless death now that he's severely crippled and can't move.
- Or at the very least, bring him some temporary relief from the pain. As for the Rad-X, that's possibly just a mistake/oversight since Rad Away seems like a more logical solution. However, perhaps Rad-X could also be put to use that way, or maybe it's an awkward way of suggesting that the refugees make take Rad-X along with the supplies so that they can handle the radiation.
- Rad-Away is used on living beings, acting as an organic cleanser. Rad-X is used as a radiation blocker. Considering the high medical skill that is required for this option, perhaps your advanced medical training has given The Courier a method of making Rad-X into a paste or liquid that can be used to draw off radiation from objects. The better question would be why you couldn't use this method on other objects, like say Irradiated Sunset Sarsparilla. As a nifty aside, they are currently developing a Rad-X equivalent In Real Life.
- Med-X's effects are specifically stated as "ignores crippled limbs". He likely wants to use it so he can get back on his feet and find medical help.
- It's been established throughout the game that House is The Chessmaster, He rigs a successful plan to secure Vegas under his control (Even with non-optimal actions by the Courier), he even predicted the Great War by a decade and was only off by a single day. Even after he becomes a computer-man, he was able to manipulate the NCR and Legion as well as the destitute gangs in his city to his own advantage, showing how resourceful and cunning he is. Yet, he is very unaware of the existence of Yes-Man. To wit, one of his securitrons was disabled by an EMP on the strip (An event that he should be aware of as it's his own turf, he remarks on the fact that a securitron was destroyed by Hidden Valley which implies that he is aware of the deaths of his robots. He also primarily receives information through these securitrons as well, so he should be doubly suspicious of a securitron spontaneously deactivating.) and he doesn't show any interest in the smiling securitron outside one of his casinos? For Christ's sake, his monitor is a bunch of security cameras around the strip, he can clearly see Yes-Man's position outside the Strip. It's been explained that Yes-Man is immune to a self destruct response by House, but it's not immune to a direct order from anyone, which presumably includes House as well. If House was aware that Yes-Man can jump to another Securitron, He could simply just ordered Yes-man to a place where the Courier wouldn't be so plainly tempted to betray House. If House really couldn't do anything about Yes-man (Doubtful, the person who designed him also made a bug which didn't last 30 seconds on House's network), then he could at least make a better argument to the Courier as to why he shouldn't listen to the robot that cannot argue as opposed to the condescending businessman.
- Yes Man by itself is actually not very remarkable or dangerous. All he does in the Tops is recite a plan already formulated by Benny, after he is installed at the Lucky 38 all of his plans are based off of projections left by House. House's true mistake is letting the Courier into the Lucky 38 in the first place, Yes Man even says this was the big problem with Benny's plan.
- House may be one of the smartest and cleverist people in the Fallout universe but if anything he is an example that no amount of predictions and logistics can stand against the spanner-throwing nature of human whims. There's a reason why the Yesman questline is called 'Wildcard'; House might think he has all the bases covered, but someone crazy and dedicated enough can slip under his radar. Benny already figured out a way to slip in and out of the strip without House knowing, so it stands to reason that he could figure out a way to grab a securitron without House knowing. And besides, House isn't aware of every securitron; Victor was given his own AI because House couldn't manually control a securitron that far, so as far as we know Benny grabbed one away from the strip. But even if House knew a securitron went missing and didn't want to write it off as just another wasteland casualty, he still had no way of knowing that Benny was responsible and was making Yesman. As for why he didn't see Yesman on the strip, it could be a gameplay/story segregation thing, but don't forget that there are a lot of securitrons for one guy to keep an eye on. Tracking a rogue AI that hops from to another could very well be impossible, or at least not possible in the time House had before the courier came knocking on his preservation pod.
- And don't forget: until Benny departs from the Tops management for good (either fleeing to the Fort, or resting in peace), Yes Man is confined to a secret area of Benny's apartments. He doesn't hang out in front of the Tops until you dispose of Benny, so House doesn't even get a chance to see him hanging out on the Strip until you're already mucking things up.
The Vault 11 "Experiment" Doesn't Make Sense
- The premise of Vault 11 is that the inhabitants are trapped within, and must sacrifice one of their own every year or all of them will be killed. In actuality, they're supposed to refuse to go through with the sacrifices, whereupon they're praised as "paragons of humanity" and free to come and go as they please. Yes, they're intended to show how much they value the sanctity of human life...by committing meaningless mass suicide. Why on earth would that be an expected response before there are too few left to care? They're isolated and controlled by an unstoppable force they can't fight. There's no greater moral statement to make; no one but them knows they're there, and their oppressor can function fine without them, not actually caring if they live or die. They gain absolutely nothing tangible by refusing. The whole thing is seriously a choice between death for you and everyone around you or living with a mildly guilty conscience. Granted, the whole vault was populated by backstabbing scumbag lunatics, but even if it wasn't, it surely would have lasted a seriously long time, especially if there were enough to keep a population going in spite of one inevitable death each year.
- That's the point. The experiment wasn't to make people value human life - that's as much as lie as anything else. The experiment was to see how to make people break, to make them turn on each other, to turn them into monsters. The "surprise" at the end is just another twist of the knife i.e. Once the inhabitants stop turning on each other and start co-operating, can we make them turn on their own mind (and commit suicide through despair)? Remember, the vaults were never really intended to save anybody. Even if by some outside chance the inhabitants stopped turning on each other and didn't give in to despair, well, that's another piece of interesting data ready to be exploited.
- The Vault experiments don't make sense because they are based on "Science!" done by the mad doctors in 1950's movies.
EDE and his "copy"
- Am I the only one who finds it weird that the copy/clone of EDE has more of a personality than the real one?
- The "real" ED-E is not functioning with all of its systems intact, and seems to indicate that whatever systems provide the "personality" are still damaged. The "original" ED-E you find in Primm is damaged, and the related Repair check is used to repair some of servos to get it working again. The Science check is used to bypass certain "primary" systems (which seems to include the higher intelligence functions) and let the secondary systems carry on just to get the robot functioning again. ED-E, like the Courier, has been shot in the head, and while ED-E still retains all of its data and memories, it shows signs of some kind of "damage" to its personality. The Courier can also be separated from his own body (essentially making two Couriers in slightly different forms), and thinks differently as a brain without the hormones. It's kind of like that with ED-E.
- It bugs me that his nifty command line interface was replaced with generic dialogue.
- The line above explains it: the wasteland ED-E can't use his "higher brain functions" (such as a voice recognition interface) since he was also shot in the "head." The ED-E in the Divide is undamaged and therefore the Courier can speak his commands to him instead of having to go through a command-line interface.
The NCR and Legion Flags
- The NCR flag has a Two-headed bear, right? I understand this is due to a artifact in the series, from before the introduction of Yao Guai, but why is the Legion flag a One-Headed Brahmin?
- The Legion flag is a bull, not a brahmin. It makes sense for two societies seeking to return to a time before the war to use flags of extinct animals.
- The Bull was the flag of a specific Legion◊ under Julius Caesar's command. The ''Legio X Equestris'' or ''Legio X Gemina'', or simply the "Tenth Legion" was said to be Julius Caesar's favorite Legion, so it's somewhat natural for Edward Sallow/Caesar to make "Caesar's Legion" based off of his historical namesake's favored soldiers.
- The two-headed bear may not be an artifact; it could be a type of mutation that simply hasn't been portrayed within the series proper, or it could just be chalked up to Ruleof Cool
- Also, Bull and Bear Markets.
The Legion: Eastern Campaign?
- Caesar's megalomania about the Hoover Dam being his Rubicon and his hardon for toppling the NCR aside, has the Legion ever tried to mass their forces east instead? As in, east past the Midwest all the way to the East Coast? From dialogue from Lanius and gathered throughout the game, the furthest the Legion ever really got east is Denver, but wouldn't they be in a better position to defeat the NCR if they literally controlled the entire continent (sans the West Coast) from the Atlantic to the Mojave first? That is the eventual goal of the Legion anyway, correct, to expand as far as they can into a monolithic empire? So let's take it back; even before the discovery of Vegas and the Hoover Dam and all this business that inspired Caesar to want to destroy the NCR, what made him decide to expand his newly founded slaving nation west instead of east? Did he flip a coin or what?
- The implication is that he expanded in every direction except - possibly - south, until First Hoover Dam focused him on the NCR. Remember, their capital is in central Arizona, so Denver isn't really closer than Hoover Dam. Also, remember that Caesar was an NCR citizen once, so some of his "Legion as an antithesis to the NCR, the NCR must be destroyed" mania dates back to before the discovery of New Vegas.
- There's also the fact that the Capital Wasteland Brotherhood of Steel is most probably a regional superpower by now and wouldn't really put up with their shit. Same goes for the Pitt, depending on how they're doing. But who knows, the Legion didn't get further than Colorado; even Denver was an extremely hard fought battle for them.
- Washington DC's status wasn't confirmed one way or the other before Fallout 3, which is why they used that location in the first place; there was no explicit mention of it being destroyed, so it was prime real estate for a new game. Also, who says there is 1000 miles of nothingness? We haven't heard of any civilizations east of Denver and West of DC/The Pitt, but it's not fair to assume there are none; after all, every game surprises fans by revealing new areas of the Wasteland with civilization where we thought there wasn't any.
- Chicago gets mentioned in ED-E's travels, and there's always whatever is Broad Strokes from Fallout Tactics.
- Not to mention the amount of time it takes just to traverse those lands. It took then-Paladin Lyons and his expedition several months to cross the continental US, and that was a smaller high-tech force that isn't as difficult to supply, had some level of knowledge regarding Pre-war geography, and were able to maintain radio communications with California. And it took them several years to get across the continental US. Even if the Legion knew of the Capital Wasteland and had the means to deploy a force there, by the time they could get there, the Brotherhood would have Liberty Prime back online. And since the Legion doesn't have a nuclear Kill Sat at their disposal, they would not be able to stop it.
- There is about 1000 miles of nothingness between Legion territory and anything of value to the east. Mounting an expedition across it when all the government, military, and a large amount of civilian vaults and technology are concentrated when you have limited resources is an absurd waste of time and effort and resources. The only possible justification is if you wanted to create an additional game in the series, set it in a city that was canonically destroyed, and reuse old factions rather than coming up with new ones. Oh, wait...
- Caesar has a more esoteric goal in mind than simple expansion. The whole point of his campaigns has been to put together a society with a solid foundation by picking and choosing tribes to assimilate and form a cohesive society with a united vision. It's not that he just wants to conquer others, he wants to reshape them in his image. If he continues to just expand by pushing over tribals, he knows his Empire will not last a generation after he dies if he does not have a foundation on which to build on, in the way that the Mongol Empire after Ghenghis Khan and the Greek Empire after Alexander the Great. For Caesar, his goal is to make a Nova Roma (New Rome) - a city where he can root the empire and allow the society to grow throughout. Rather than 87 tribes with their own distinct cultural identities vying for supremacy, Caesar wants 87+ tribes who are dedicated to the pursuit of a singular ideal - A unified ideal that centers on a single city as the anchor for the new dawn of civilization. That's really what's most important for Caesar - a symbol and structure for which the people will continue to follow. When the man is gone, the city he leaves behind carries on. To him, that's what Rome was in ancient history, and that's what Caesar is trying to accomplish by capturing New Vegas. Once he takes New Vegas, the implication is that Caesar will turn New Vegas into a New Rome. He will then transfer the cult of personality based around himself and then transplant it onto the city. Instead of everyone following Caesar himself, he intends to make everyone want to be a "New Roman" (or, perhaps a "New Vegan?") by building up New Vegas as the center of the world for the Empire.
- The Legion was expanding west except three things happened. 1, The catastrophic Colorado Campaign, crippled their westward advance; 2, Ulysses discovered Hoover Dam and a functioning Las Vegas; and, 3 the NCR beat the Legion the first time around. As mentioned by Lanius there were tribes to the west but they were uncivilized, they only thing they could do was replenish their slaves and their numbers. Furthermore as shown by the Colorado Campaign, the terrain was getting increasingly hazardous. New Vegas and the Dam was a far greater prize offering them far more. After their defeat their pride was on the line and Caesar halted all expansion, and called in everyone to attack the Dam. Once/If he beats the NCR and conquers California he will resume expanding east.
- Also worth considering is the personality of the man. He's very clever but he can also behave like a petulant child. He tried to take Hoover Dam. He failed. The NCR beat him. How dare they oppose him! How dare they give anyone the impression that other civilisations to his are even workable! And so forth. His pride's been wounded and, no matter how harmful the Mojave campaign might be, he's not going to give it up.
- At this point, going east makes very little sense. He would need all the manpower he could get to fight off the technologically superior NCR when their only advantage is tactics and numbers. Sure he could push east and maybe find more tribes to conquer-but he also might find another NCR-level enemy (like the Midwestern Brotherhood) at which point the Legion is caught between a rock and a hard place. The last thing you need in combat with an equal enemy is to stumble over another one.
- You also need to remember two things about the NCR here. 1: They are every bit as expansionist as Caesar's Legion. 2: They are vehemently anti-slavery. If Caesar was to ignore the Mojave while trying to expand east, then NCR would face only the opposition of local factions in the Mojave, which they could swiftly overwhelm with numbers and organization. If Caesar doesn't oppose the NCR now, they'll be able to establish a firm foothold in Vegas, start recruiting from the Mojave and exploiting its resources, and overall have a much stronger position from which to make inroads on the western edge of his empire. And they will be determined to take that land, both because of their own expansionism and their ideological opposition to the Legion. tl;dr: NCR is the greatest threat to the Legion, and if Caesar doesn't focus his efforts westward to defeat them, the threat will only grow.
The Abuse that the FOA have to suffer through
- Note: Some of this is from the old archived FNV Headscratchers page. I liked the discussion and have more to add, so I've moved it here.
- Can the Followers just not get a break? I mean at best they get to be an extension of the NCR's goodwill, one of the things they hoped to not be. Other options are an 'encouraged' withdraw by the NCR, a permitted retreat by Caesar, annihilation by the Legate, regulated by House, or swamped due to Independence. Not to mention how the Brotherhood slaughtered a group because Veronica DARED to leave, and how Benny exploited and used one of them to make Yes Man, the Kings treat them like an annoying little sibling, and the only people willing to help them are the Garrets who are pretty much part of the problem!
- Nope. In Fallout, wry cynicism permeates every narrative thread. Blessed are the cheesemakers! No feel-good, Kumbaya Gene Roddenberry shit here. *sigh*
- My problem is that the NCR had no fucking reason to push them around. They provide medical assistance and teach the people who live in your country and you don't even need to pay them so what do you do push them around.
- I think it's an issue of loyalty, if the Followers decide to be good little NCR subjects and heal and teach who the NCR wants, then there's no problem. If they continue to stay neutral, and help anyone and everyone (For example, how they hook up with the Khans in the Northwest in one ending) then the NCR isn't going to want them around, plus let's not forget that Caesar was a Follower, maybe a little resentment there.
- There's also the issue of the Followers obstinately demanding more independence for New Vegas, which they prioritize over anything else - even stability. Hell, one of the Followers even murders an NCR Corporal because he discovered that the Followers were re-routing NCR water supplies to Westside, which was undermining the NCR farms. The Followers and the NCR share a similar outlook; they'd get along fine if the former would just stop whining all the time.
- On the contrary: if Caesar wins, he allows the Followers safe passage from New Vegas out of respect for his origins, even if they themselves are ashamed of having produced him. The NCR allows them to stay (maybe), and they do fairly well under the Wild Card ending if you upgrade the Securitrons to keep order.
- And to be honest, the NCR offering an olive branch to the Followers is a sign of things getting better for them, with more resources means they will be able to do a lot more than usual. They can't expect to save the wasteland themselves but every bit of help is good for them. Even with strings attached.
- The Followers' good ending (involving the NCR) is just bugged due to bad scripting. Kind of like Fallout 1 and 2! Thankfully, it's easy to fix.
- It's not really just the Followers getting picked on. They are pretty much the definition of Good Is Dumb, taking absurd stands on issues on principle, no matter how obviously moronic it is. On top of that, Good Is Not Nice members are also rather common, which is really bad for a group that is primarily pacifist. This tends to make situations they get in worse. As a whole, the NCR isn't that much less idealistic than the Followers, since the FOA had a big impact on the founding principles of the NCR, but, and this is the reason the NCR does much better than the FOA, the NCR leaders are smart enough to realize when they need to be pragmatic about certain issues.
- It shouldn't be surprising that using all their resources to fix short term issues ends up causing the group to fail over the long term.
- The Followers are essentially most successful group in their field in the mainland of the NCR actually they are the group that trains almost all of the doctors in the entire NCR it just so happens that one mission is not to successful due to the war making it harder for them. How is that failing?
- That's a not quite accurate assessment of that situation. They are training almost all of the doctors in the NCR, but virtually every doctor leaves the Followers immediately after they finish training. These doctors are in no way contributing to the Followers. At most, the Followers are partially successful because one of their goals is to help the wasteland, but their more important goal is to spread their ideals, which the doctors they train mostly do not.
- My assessment of the NCR and the Followers is this:
1. They don't mind the Followers helping most people in the Mojave.
2. However, they don't want the Followers doing things like:
3. Killing their soldiers and stealing water from NCR farms that are supposed to feed the armies stopping everybody in the Mojave from being enslaved, raped, and/or crucified, (as well as feeding a large portion of Mojave civilians themselves) in order to let sharecroppers grow food so that an unimportant town(that it doesn't seem the NCR wants) can "remain independent". This was one Follower doing all this, but it certainly doesn't help their image in the eyes of the NCR.
4. Teaching the Great Khans how to make helpful chems. This wouldn't be a problem unless the Khans use this knowledge to make drugs that are sold to a band of murderous raiders, allowing these raiders to murder and rape many NCR soldiers and Mojave civilians. Which is exactly what happened.
5. Wanting Vegas Independence. The NCR is thinking, "If the Followers are apolitical and will help anybody no matter what, why are they taking a stand of a political issue like this?"
6. Overall, the NCR knows that most Followers are good. However, they also know that the Followers will tolerate almost anybody within their ranks, and because of this, are seen as good, but stupid, with their actions enigmatic. Best as said by LT Boyd: "Can't tell if they're helping or hurting sometimes."
- To be fair to the NCR the Followers, for all their altruism, do engage in some shady practices that could be charitably described as interfering with other organizations, or sabotage and terrorism if you're feeling less charitable. The Followers approach you with an offer for you to place a bug on Mr. House's network, after all, and there's one member of the Followers masquerading as an NCR scientist to prevent them from discovering the secret workings of Helios One. It can be inferred that they've tried other such stunts and the NCR probably isn't too fond of them fooling around in areas of national interest.
Daniel is a crappy missionary
- I never understood why Daniel didn't shrug off the Sorrow's confusion of the Christian God with the Father in the Cave. Plenty of current Christian traditions have come from incorporating the beliefs and practices of the convertees into the converter's religion. He'd be a lot more efficient if he wasn't wasting his time trying to convince them to give up their beliefs entirely.
- Daniel blames the language barrier. While he'd been working with the Sorrows for at least six years, Daniel was primarily doing medical work and doing odd jobs (such as compiling maps of the areas around Zion Valley). He never stopped to get to know them or their language and had previously been dismissing the Father in the Caves as a localized superstition rather than the "primary" deity for the Sorrows. When you bring up the Father in the Caves and the Lord, his reaction is more "Oh... so that is why they picked it up so fast!" As of late, of course, he's also been distracted by the destruction of New Canaan itself and preparing the evacuation of the whole tribe.
No Martyrdom for Lee?
- According to House, President Kimball would become a martyr to the NCR if he was killed at Hoover Dam, which is why you have to go save him (this ignores Caesar's reasons for having Kimball assassinated, but that's a whole different story). However, House merely shrugs off Lee's death if you kill the general at Hoover Dam. Would the NCR really not care if one of their generals, however terrible his reputation was, was killed by the same force that pushes their military out of the Mojave? Or would they really be too busy condemning Kimball for them to think of Oliver fondly?
- Lee is widely thought to have gotten his position through Nepotism, while Kimball was chosen by the people. If he dies, he'll be remembered as an incompetent, jingoistic asshole who got what he deserved. Kimball, on the other hand, is the face of the NCR, not to mention a war hero.
- Oliver is House's backup plan - that at least one of them lives to take the blame, so House can keep the NCR in his pocket. House would rather have both of them alive so that the NCR as a whole blames them for the failures in the Mojave. If Kimball lives, Kimball will take the brunt of the responsibility as the elected representative. If Kimball dies, the backup plan is that the blame falls on Oliver for his inability to both keep the President safe and for Kimball's decisions regarding the Mojave. The second option is not as optimal as the first. If they both die, there's no one for the NCR to blame but House and New Vegas, which puts a dent in House's greater plan, but House will also shrug that off and say the NCR will get over it after a few years.
- Also, Oliver doesn't even nearly have the level of public support as Kimball does. Kimball, as the leader of the civilian government, is much more recognizable in the eyes of the public compared to the head of the military. For example, imagine the political implications and the publics reaction of what will happen if president Barack Obama is assassinated by during a visit to Afghanistan by Al-Qaeda, and compare that to the aftermath of what will happen if general John Allen is killed in battle. The impact that that they carry are on completely different levels.
No Marked Women?
- Okay, I've been to The Divide and back again several times, I've conquered The Courier's Mile, and gotten all the achievements, but I have yet to come across a Marked Woman. Since half of the marked men are Legion it makes since that most of them would be male, but the NCR uses both female and male soldiers, so how come they are no Marked Women? Does the roaring sandstorms scar them so badly its impossible to tell? Did they all get eaten by the more numerous males? Did they all just go some where else? The Courier even finds an audio log by a female trooper, so there were definitely women NCR at The Divide... Its just been bugging me for a few days now that you never run across any.
- From a design standpoint, it's probably just laziness so they could use the same model. In-universe, the Legion troops aren't tolerant of women. Working together or not, the women were probably killed in the initial disputes before hatred made them all crazy.
- I'd lean towards that bit of Body Horror where the females have had their skin and flesh burned away so that you can't really tell anymore. Some of the Marked Men might just be female, but have lost some of the physical characteristics that identify them that way.
- The Marked Men's flesh have peeled away leaving behind only muscle. In which case, men and women basically look the same. Look at a muscle diagram of the female body and compare it to the male body. If you make a man and woman the same basic size (which the game generally does in most situations), then they look nearly identical.
Why no Area 51?
- Not that this is a deal breaker for the game as a whole but why didn't they at least try to make a reference to Area 51 or make a mission based around it? Area 51 is right there in Nevada, if any other place in America deserves a reference to a secret government conspiracy Nevada does.
- Who's to say it wasn't nuked off the map by the commies?
- Rather than deal with the idea that aliens may or may not be canon, Obsidian just left the whole thing alone and let Wild Wasteland be the only reference to aliens in New Vegas. In a roundabout way, Area 51 is responsible for Fallout 3's ''Mothership Zeta'' DLC, which is something of a Base Breaker. In Fallout, a special encounter involves a wrecked alien spacecraft that bears a sign that says "Property of Area-51: Return if Found." This encounter is regarded as non-canon (mostly because it's much more humorous in tone than serious), but Bethesda created Mothership Zeta entirely from that encounter.
- Why the dislike for the aliens in Fallout 3? I thought this series thrived off of the science fiction cliches of the 1950s and that the people who are so obsessed with the lore from Fallout 1 and 2 would like the reference for what it is. It isn't like the aliens really detract from the plot, they are just there for fun. What were they expecting some sort of sci-fi epic like Star Trek or Mass Effect where aliens visiting us has meaning for the evolution of our species in the forseeable future? Personally I just thought it was a wasted opportunity to not at least give the place a reference, you don't even need a mission that would be enough for me.
- It's mostly a disagreement about themes when aliens get involved. One argument against heavy alien reference is that any focus on extraterrestrial life causes a Genre Shift and distracts from the themes of Human nature causing their self-destruction and the continued cycle of violence. Depending on how you look at it, Mothership Zeta either a Big Lipped Alligator Moment at worst or an Out-of-Genre Experience at best, with both viewpoints developing theories that aliens caused the Great War, rather than as the folly of humanity. Another argument against aliens comes from Chris Avellone, who rather dislikes the silly elements found within the Fallout series as a whole, which again, the earlier appearances of aliens in the games are considered "silly." "Wild Wasteland" was the concession among Obsidian members regarding the "silly" content.
- I also vaguely recall reading something (can't remember where now, go figure) that stated that Area 51 wasn't included because it was too far north.
- Nah, that can't be it. Zion Valley (setting for Honest Hearts) is further north and farther away than Area 51.
- Now that I think about it you're right. As I recall now, it was too far north for them to include in the main Mojave Wasteland itself, I believe. No idea why it wasn't included in a DLC pack (perhaps because they couldn't make it work with the storyline they had set up), but maybe we'll see it at some point in a future game.
- Why are we automatically assuming that Area 51 has to have aliens in it? Can't Area 51 just have top secret Military technology and have some powerful pre-war remnant organization like the brains from Old World Blues, the Institute in Massachusetts, or the Enclave? Is all the appeal of Area 51 found only in the idea that the U.S Government is hiding alien technology? Personally I think Area 51 is so secretive simply because the top secret Military Air Crafts being made there really are that advanced that the public can't know about them, I think the alien stuff is just a myth and would find a human organization running the post-war Area 51 far more interesting than aliens (though not that I would mind aliens, just talking about Area 51's potential).
- See above regarding the Fallout 1 Special Encounter and Mothership Zeta. It's simply a continuity thing. In regards to development of secret military projects, it would be very similar to Big Mountain, which was also working on top secret military experiments. And since the engine Fallout runs on doesn't do flying or vehicles very well, it would be a lot of Fan Wank to have all those prototypes or secret vehicles there and not really be able to do anything with them.
- If The Glow is any indication, Area 51 is probably a radioactive crater a mile deep.
- Which makes sense. The reason house was able to see off most of the warheads sent at Vegas even without the Chip was likely because Vegas, a holiday destination, was probably not high on the Chinese list of targets. Area 51 almost certainly would be high on that list and as such would be nuked into oblivion. Remember that Big Mountain was turned into a crater and that had, as the name suggests, a damn mountain on top of it.
- Big MT wasn't turned into a crater by the Chinese, they apparently didn't know about it and so didn't bomb it at all. Or they did and it had enough defenses to block the attacks. The mountain was blown up by some experiment inside of it exploding.
About ED-E's ending after Lonesome Road...
- If you decide not to sacrifice ED-E and instead throw the nukes at either NCR and/or Legion, the ending says he (ED-E's copy) gives one last farewell to the Courier through his Mojave counterpart and heads on his way to Navarro to fulfill his creator's wish and the ending states that "no matter what, he knew there would be a second home to return to, Navarro or not". Does this state that ED-E (his copy) reunites with the Courier afterwards after going to Navarro or it's meant to be metaphorical that his Mojave counterpart accompanies the Courier instead?
- It just means that he could always come back if he wanted. I doubt ED-E proper would mind.
Why is the NCR economy so lousy?
- The NCR is definitely not wealthy in Vegas, and it looks like things aren't much better in California. NCR soldiers more or less tell you the economy sucks and they chose to enlist because it was either that or 'shoveling brahmin shit.' But that doesn't seem right at all. I don't think the economy ought to be sluggish at all - in fact, it should be in an absolute boom. The NCR has stabilized to a point that citizens no longer have to worry about getting shot up by raiders or dying the next day from starvation or thirst. People are once again able to accumulate wealth, which is demonstrated by enough of them visiting Vegas to keep it running. There ought to be a plethora of niches in the market opening up as infrastructure and large scale trade are reestablished, and a colossal demand for scientists, engineers, artisans, technicians, craftsmen, and teachers. (And that demand would have been there for decades; plenty of time for people to realize that skills like literacy and basic math can make them money, so you can't just justify it with the citizenry just being too uneducated) There certainly seems to be enough labor, given the amount of people joining the army because they don't know what else to do. The economy should be red hot with people scrambling to make use of the new opportunities. So what's the deal?
- The big thing is that the NCR dollar is devalued because they use water as a trading standard instead of gold (the Brotherhood had destroyed the gold reserve). This has a pronounced effect on their economy, as the NCR pays its people in NCR dollars (the miners in Sloan attest to this). Joining the military and getting three squares a day seems ironically a safer bet than breaking your back for incredibly bad and inflated wages. This is further complicated by Mr. House luring in the NCR elite and wealthy to spend in his casinos, as well as what little the NCR military spends on Leave in New Vegas. Rather than money and resources being sent home into the NCR economy, the money is being sucked out by the war with the Legion and the New Vegas occupation.
- When New Vegas takes place, the NCR has barely recovered from two devastating wars against the Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel, not only that, they are now currently in another war against the Legion and is engaged in an espionage cold war against Mr. House. All these conflicts undoubtedly weighted heavily on the Republic's economy. Also, the NCR's rapid expansionism both diplomatically and militarily means that resources and manpower from the core regions had to be redirected via taxation to rebuilding and developing the newly acquired territories.
- Another important factor to consider is that we were told that the NCR's economy is bad by chatting with the current generation of NCR citizens, most of which were too young to have experienced things back before the NCR was in control. So in their perspective life is hard, but it is still no where as bad as living in the wasteland before the Republic came along.
- You can see the exact same thing in the real world. Look at almost any first world country and you will constantly hear complaints about the economy. Just about every other country in the world is, even at their highest points, substantially worse off by every economic metric. It's a matter of perspective. The NCR is in a low point of its economy due to several wars and expansion, but it is still better off then almost everything else you encounter.
NCR: Now with Securitrons?
- So, is there a particular reason I can't have Yes-Man march the Securitrons out to join the NCR? I've got an army of killer robots and all I want to do is use it to serve my country.
- Yes-Man probably doesn't trust the jingoistic NCR with an army of Securitrons. After all, their leadership includes an incompetent egotist obsessed with his rank, a violent harpy eager to prove herself, and a traitor willing to leave the Mojave high and dry so long as his homeland stops suffering. Giving people like them control of an army of killer robots would be like giving Iran nuclear weapons
- Because in order to get that army of Securitrons ready to march on Hoover Dam and wipe out the Legion, you have to undertake several actions that alienate you from the NCR.
- More likely the same exact reason why Mr. House wouldn't ally with the NCR: The NCR is too corrupt by this point to accept someone not in their "system" in control of such a large force. The NCR would be suspicious of anyone with that kind of power and would fabricate a reason to declare them (either you or House) as an enemy of the state and have you removed from a position of leadership. This was House's reason to not work with the NCR, and Yes Man, by virtue of having access to House's knowledge centers, would know this too.
- And I would be happy to hand over the control of the Securitrons to any NCR official. I couldn't be handing New Vegas to them any harder if I literally put it on a silver plate. Would they really refuse that kind of opportunity?
- The short answer is yes, they (well, Oliver) would refuse, but only because there isn't time to discuss it in an NCR committee. Even if you told Yes-Man to follow the NCR's orders, you'd have to ask the NCR to divert power to jump-start the hidden army, and that would more or less only be possible with permission from Lee Oliver. It doesn't seem like such a big request, but it's been argued that Oliver is not exactly the sort of person who is willing to share in his glorious victory over the Legion. Reasonable NCR figures like Crocker, Hsu, and Hanlon would be for the robots, but Oliver is the one in charge. He's okay with Securitrons during the Independent/House ending, but that is because he thinks they're a small group supporting his army and is surprised by the big huge army intended to take over Vegas. An approach going through the NCR bureaucracy or going over Oliver's head would take too much time, given the urgency in getting everything ready for the battle.
- That wasn't House's reason for not allying with the NCR. He allies with them to stab them in the back in order to get power for himself. He wasn't a benevolent person looking out for the good of New Vegas, a town that he created solely to give him leverage against the NCR.
- You're confusing the reason why he set up the treaty with why he won't join the NCR. The whole reason for the treaty is to buy him time so that he can get his plan with the Platinum Chip rolling. The reason why he doesn't just join the NCR outright is because he actually tells you that he believes the NCR would fabricate a reason to take him out of the picture as an authority figure. Then Dummied Out content reveals that it would have otherwise been possible to persuade Mr. House into joining the NCR and accept this as House's fate.
- While I don't like the NCR and wouldn't give them the securitron army in a million years, it would still make sense if that was an option. If nothing else, it would at least make Benny and the platinum chip relevant in all questlines. As it is now, he's completely extraneous if you side with the NCR.
Warheads that you detonate in Lonesome Road...
- This is really minor one, but don't you think that the warheads that litters Divide, which you need to blow up with laser detonator to proceed, are way, way too "weak"? I mean, weak as mininuke? This is a goddamn megaton warhead for blowing up half of a city - it should be able to simply erase flimsy concrete highways and roads, including anything that was in its range (ex. buildings near it, roads near it, courier). It's not like developers somehow forgot about destructive power and lethality of nuclear bomb. There was instances of master's church, enclave rig, megaton and other places wiped clean with single atomic blow, not to mention the Courior's mile, in SAME DLC, which got hit by exactly same warhead with the ones we blow up, and that place is seriously messed-up radioactive hell. There's also The Great War, but we'll pass on that. There's also matter of rads. That warhead was leaking rads even before we blew it up, but when we actually detonate it, no rads are remaining. Even mininukes, which are obiously weaker than warhead and intended to be fired from man portable weapon system, leaves some rads for a while. Who would have known that the best way to remove radiation from atomic bombs are blowing them up!
- Simply put, Nukes don't work like that. There's a specific set of circumstances and a specific order those circumstances must occur in order to achieve a supercritical reaction and cause a nuclear explosion. The warheads are equipped with a primary agent - usually explosives which are detonated in sequence in order to achieve the correct circumstances. The laser detonator seems to detonate the explosives out of sequence, so all you get is a moderate bang, rather than a really big bang. As for the radiation from using a mini-nuke, note that you are actually using the nuke and triggering a nuclear reaction. Radiation from the explosion is a result of the actual atomic process (be it fission or fusion - I assume fission because of Fallout's 1950s style), while it seems the laser detonator violently dismantles the warhead, rather than triggering it.
General Lee Oliver's Rank
- I was curious about what rank the commanding officer of the NCR at Hoover Dam is. When determining rank it is normally displayed on the cufflets around the neck area, on the chest, or on the helmet/hat of the officer in question. In-game I looked at the stars around his neck and there were 4 on each side but on his hat there was a prominent 1 star over the NCR's bear symbol. Is he a Brigadier General or a 4 Star General? I guess the European rank system currently in place in the Western World still is an important part of American culture even after the Great War.
- Four star. The single star is part of the Bear Flag (one or two headed).
- Oh, well I certainly feel stupid, I didn't know the 1 star was part of the NCR's flag rather than his rank insignia. Shouldn't they teach their officers not to wear confusing symbols that might cause lower ranking officers or soldiers to confuse their rank? Anyway I find it rather impressive that for an officer that apparently got his rank through nepotism that Oliver would get the most prestigious Military rank available under normal circumstances (5 star Generals are available only during times of full scale war, Chiefs of Staff are elected by the President and the Congress). 4 star Generals are given command over entire regions and entire armies, a very powerful position that comes with a lot of responsibilities. Is Oliver really fit for that position?
- He's commanding the NCR's most important front, they wouldn’t give that to anyone but the most senior general in their army. And he isn't completely incompetent, he’s not throwing his troops away on mad charges or totally misdeploying his army, he’s ‘simply’ guilty of underestimating Caesar, and hesitating in what is a very defensible position, rather than advance and risk getting bogged down in a long, arduous war. It's a dumb decision yes, but not horribly so.
- General Lee doesn't really come off as an incompetent General Officer but as far as defeating the enemy goes his tactics could use some work. It is important that he distributes an appropriate amount of patrols and fortifications so that his troops can properly defend Hoover Dam and not stretch his forces so thin that he leaves his forces at a strategic disadvantage. However just sitting by and waiting for the enemy to come to you doesn't win wars. In order to win you must do things like destroy supply lines, use search and destroy tactics on enemy patrols, capture strategic positions the enemy wants, assassinate key enemy officers to throw the chain of command into disarray, use spies, and when the situation calls for it shock and awe. Tactics like that win wars, defending a strategic position simply gives the enemy a chance to recuperate and regain the necessary power they need to strike you again.
- Oliver's tactics seemed pretty solid considering his shortage of resources. He's planning to force a decisive battle at the Dam. Launching an offensive into enemy territory without secure supply lines (the Long 15 is the only route by which enough material to support an army can be sent) would likely end in complete disaster. But a second massive defeat at Hoover Dam would probably shatter Legion morale, and the casualties inherent in attacking an enemy force armed with automatic weapons bunkered up in a highly defensible location would not do good things for Legion troop numbers. Of course, the Dam is not quite as defensible as he had believed, ending in disaster for the NCR unless the player sides with them.
- Supply lines are overextended as they are, having to pass right through either raider territory or walking right alongside the frontline. Especially with Searchlight wiped out, Cottonwood Cove has a stranglehold on the supplylines. Plus, there isn't anything of value for the NCR to take; it's all a defensive battle for them. The goal is to hold Hoover Dam, and that's what they are doing. That said, the strategy isn't bulletproof, but the answer wouldn't be attacking. The best choice would probably be a tactical withdrawal; the NCR doesn't have enough troops to keep Hoover Dam from being encircled, and it is rather weak to being asploded, if Caeser's Legion really has no hope of capturing it. Of course, that would require a mass evacuation of everything east of New Vegas, including New Vegas itself, and would also require NCR troopers to retreat into a battle with the Fiends so they can capture more defensible buildings
- It's not like its really Oliver's fault they're stuck there anyway, it's the Legion. Their initial plan was presumably to simply move troops in, fix Hoover Dam, kill all the raiders, make the Mojave a nicer place and then annex it. They didn't need all that many troops for that. the only thing they couldn't have planned for would be the Legion showing up and drawing them into a stalemate.
Joshua Graham's choice
- Why is such a big deal made out of Graham's choice to kill the White Legs and their leader Salt Upon Wounds? As Graham himself says a human being only has two cheeks so you can't "turn the other cheek" over and over again and just let yourself be a punching bag. Some times you have to kill bad people to protect your loved ones. I mean hell by the time the Courier is in Zion he has probably killed countless people already, it is literally impossible to play this series without killing someone, so who is he to be talking about mercy? Is it about Graham falling back into his old ways if he kills the White Legs? If so I don't see why Graham can't defend his people as their War Chief and still preach the love and mercy of God, surely the Bible makes exceptions when it comes to self defense.
- Daniel points out that it's one thing for the Sorrows from an aggressor and and another to wipe out the White Legs out of hatred. At the extremes, Daniel would like to keep the Sorrows from having to make that choice by getting them out of Zion Valley, but is willing to defend them should the White Legs attack directly. On the other side, Joshua is inclined to simply destroy the White Legs completely. He hates the White Legs. It's up to the Courier to be Graham's conscience at a pivotal moment, and the Courier's decision will color how the Dead Horses/Sorrows view Joshua Graham. What better way to teach than by example? If Joshua shows mercy, he can still be their war chief, but will show an even temperament, though he still may be swift and harsh in judgement. If Joshua executes Salt-Upon-Wounds, he returns to his Blood Knight ways and so do the tribals. There's also a third option in giving Salt-Upon-Wounds an honorable fight, which also alters Graham and the tribals.
- I understand that killing Salt-Upon-Wounds out of revenge (by the time Graham has the opportunity to kill the White Legs leader he is already defeated and powerless by that point) has the horrifying implication of Graham forgetting that God's anger is not always the same as your selfish desires. I will even go so far as to agree with you that Graham should be leading by example, if he preaches mercy then he must some times practice it, Graham himself even says that his job as a follower of Christ is to follow in the Lord's footsteps and to teach others how to do the same. I do however find it naive that Daniel thinks in a post-war society that these people are going to remain "innocent", until some sort of regional power like the NCR or the Brotherhood of Steel or even Mr. House can establish a foothold over the entire continent, as the pre-war United States Government did, will there no longer be groups like the Legion or the White Legs. In the mean time they need someone like Graham to teach them how to stand up for themselves and kill anyone who means them harm. Mercy is a fine thing to teach them but it is even more important that Graham teaches them that mercy has limits.
- To be fair to Daniel, Daniel just does not want the Sorrows to become warlike because of himself and the other New Canaanites. The entire reason the White Legs are attacking the Sorrows is because of the presence of Joshua Graham's tribe. Daniel had seen other tribes he worked with become warriors and he's really trying to keep the Sorrows' innocence as long as possible until they can develop and make those decisions on their own.
- It's also a question of Joshua's redemption. He was a vengeful, wrathful Legate in the Legion. The Courier can teach him temperance, mercy or encourage him to indulge in his old ways out of sheer disdain (note that the only way to execute Salt is by taking Sneering Imperialist as a perk). The Dead Horses will follow his teachings accordingly, and the Sorrows will become more and more violent according to his actions.
- The entire point is that the biggest threat to Joshua Graham is himself. He needs somebody to save him from himself. And you can.
Earth is No Good Anymore?
- I have done extensive reading on the Enclave and Mr. House's intentions and both of them have space colonization in mind for the survival and eventual thriving of the human race. This isn't really expressed extensively in the story (the Fallout 2 Enclave was trying to get rid of the mutations on Earth so pure strain humans could retake the Earth, and Mr. House expresses some interest in advancing Earth society) but the Fallout Wiki explicitly says that the space colony plan is working under the premise that the nuclear war has ruined the ecosystem of the Earth forever. Don't they realize that radiation would only last for a few hundred years? Realistically the United States should be one big forest of plants and trees similar to Harold's Oasis 200 years after a nuclear war. Also doesn't the presence of groups of like the NCR give them hope that the Earth can still be rebuilt? The space colony plan is nice as far as scientific advancements go but it isn't necessary for the survival of humanity.
- The idea is that the Earth of Fallout has run out of resources. Oil is depleted, so is viable nuclear fuel, if Broken Hills is any indication. There is only what's being recycled from being recovered from old ruins, as Prospectors like Easy Pete can attest to. Many of the groups, like the NCR, are just absorbing what they have found, or looking to the past for their continued prosperity. And for whatever reason, nature has not done much to reclaim the world, so the Enclave, and other forward-thinkers like House, their only real alternative it to look elsewhere.
- I remember reading that the Posiden Oil Rig was the last viable source of oil left on Earth which obviously means that the so-called "oil supply that will last us for a hundred years if we need it" ran out too as of the time of Fallout 2. It isn't exactly realistic for human beings to wait for millions of years for new fossil fuels to form. As far as nuclear power goes my understanding of that aspect of the resource problems was that during the Resource Wars/World War III America had managed to create nuclear powered fuel but that by that point it was too late to fix the damage that had been done. Nuclear power should realistically last for hundreds of years so if they can find what is left over and learn how to create more there shouldn't be anymore resource problems. Giving up on the Earth without fighting for the right to hold onto our home seems to contradict the very theme of Fallout as a series, that Mankind despite all of its flaws and the mistakes we made is still worth preserving and there is still hope for the future.
- In some ways, it is in keeping with the theme. Earth is a wrecked ruin due to humanity's mistakes. It might be possible to eke out an existence in its remains, but there would be near-constant fighting and struggling for perhaps decades. Just the mutated wildlife alone would be hell to contend with in any meaningful way. If humanity branches out into space, we get a second chance to right our past wrongs and start fresh.
- Even if the Fallout universe runs on Hollywood Science the writers can't deny the fact that radiation doesn't last forever. Radiation has something called a half-life where eventually it will all fade away, scientists believe that given a time span of 750 years all trace of radiation would be gone entirely and that even before then things would still be livable even if a little harsh. Nature would repair itself if humanity would simply give it time, the Earth is not a lost cause. Humanity needs to get itself back in order before it even has the right to consider a trip into space if you ask me; I mean how is bringing the same humanity that destroyed one planet going to avoid the mistake of a nuclear war on the next planet? We can't just give up on Earth and try to erase our mistakes by going to another planet, it would be more courageous to face up to our mistakes from the Great War and rebuild this Earth of ours and try better next time. Mr. House and the Enclave don't have enough faith in the ingenuity of humanity, we built great civilizations on this Earth before and we can do it again, War may never change but people can if they are only given the chance.
- That's great and all, but nature has been horrifically mutated, people have no fucking idea just what life was like before, and all of society has been knocked back and changed into something different. The whole point of "War Never Changes" is that humans will always wage war. All of those great civilizations we built were built on war; the openning narration of the original Fallout spells that out on how each of the great empires of history used war as the means to bring themselves up to greatness. No matter what happens, War will always be there to destroy everything.
- Let go and begin again?
Is the NCR stuck in the Western Coast of the United States?
- So far I have noticed that the New Californian Republic has only had a presence in California, Nevada, and perhaps a few other states but it doesn't appear that they have gone too far East. The Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel have locations in the East Coast, and hell even Caesar's Legion a technologically unsophisticated society still has ties to the East despite their current presence in the West. Why is the NCR so isolated from the other side of the North American continent (the States aren't really all that "united" anymore come to think of it)?
New Californian Republic's Energy Interests
- Obviously the NCR took control of Hoover Dam because they are nation building and need a revenue of energy and resources which is provided in Nevada. I was wondering if perhaps the NCR might have an interest in going into Alaska and collecting on the pre-war Alaskan Oil that the United States Army regained control of when they repelled the Chinese. The Great War happened shortly after the successful Anchorage Alaska campaign so I doubt the Americans were able to use up that much oil in about a year's time, surely the oil must still be there.
- You're assuming that the Alaskan oil deposits were in good shape at the end of the Anchorage campaign. By the end of the campaign, it is quite possible that there were only a few barrels left, and kicking the Chinese out was more of the priority. If there's still oil there, then yes, the NCR would probably be interested, if they could get up to Alaska. And then, they'd need to figure out how to get the oil down to California.
- OK Alaska is out of the picture. Any other places in the former United States of energy interest?
- There's not really free to roam the country, with the Legion to the east and no reliable forms of transportation.
- In the canceled Fallout: Van Buren, the NCR control the coal mining town of Burham Springs in Southern Utah, until they were forced to abandon it due to the Powder Gangers and had to blow up the mines.
- The events of Operation Anchorage are only Broad Strokes Canon. General Chase made it a lot more of a victory than it actually was. In addition, the entire oil infrastructure was destroyed, not that there was much oil left anyways. The sole exception was the Enclave Oil Rig, which was destroyed in Fallout 2.
How did Benny escape Vegas?
- The only two ways in or out of Vegas are the security checkpoint and the monorail. The checkpoint is swarming with Securitrons and the monorail station has a few too. House knew Benny had betrayed him by the time Benny made his escape, so the Securitrons ought to have stopped him. I suppose Benny could have built a tunnel, but there's no way he could have brought in heavy machinery without House figuring out what he was doing. Digging a tunnel by hand is months of tremendous work, Benny wouldn't do it on the off chance he might need to leave Vegas. Besides, there's nothing surrounding Vegas but flat desert. Wouldn't someone notice the tunnel's exit?
- In the game, there's a door in the hallways behind Yes Man's room, which could lead to a tunnel that does go out of Vegas. It's hardy difficult to hide it, as the tunnel could connect to one of the sewers which are all around Vegas, Freeside, or a random decrepit bulding that nobody checks.
- If Benny took the normal route, he can probaly run faster than one or two Mk. I securitrons can shoot at him.
- Or he didn't order his Securitrons to look specifically for him, because he thought sending you was enough.
- House may know of Benny's betrayal, but as he said himself, "All he has to do is hold a pistol up to the chip, and he's won." House might have even just let Benny go, knowing he'll just dispatch the Courier to get the chip again later.
- First of all, the idea of Benny running past a bunch of securitrons makes no sense. What's the point of having a heavily fortified checkpoint if the guards can't even put down one guy with no armor whose only tactic is to run fast? Secondly, yes there's a passage behind Benny's room but and it might lead to a tunnel, but that still doesn't explain how he managed to build one in the first place without House noticing. House is paranoid about security, how could he ignore the possibility of someone coming into Vegas from underground? Thirdly, House wouldn't just let Benny go on faith that the player might bring it back.
- Tell me, would the Courier be able to run past 2 or 3 Securitrons while wearing no armor? Probably yes. Benny could likely do the same, as by the time the Securitrons pull out their weapons, Benny would be outside of their weapon's effective ranges.
- Just because House owns Vegas doesn't mean he knows every rock and crevice in it. Besides, there was 190 years where anyone could have built a tunnel and House would have been none the wiser. Really, you wouldn't be able to find a tunnel there until you actually stumble into it, provided it was planned out. And it's not like House ever failed to consider a possibility, right?
- It was either let Benny go now and take the chance the Courier might not retrieve it later, or try to arrest Benny right there and lose the chip forever. He picked the former.
- Also, Bennny had and was using Stealth Boys. He was only captured by the Legion because his current one died in the Fort (suurounded by legionaires) and his disguise failed the check. If he had one, it's logical to assume he had another that he used to sneak by the Securitrons.
- Or he climbed over the wall and snaked his way through a portion with less barbed wire than usual.
- Does that answer your questions?
- Josh Sawyer answered this question on his formspring. While they were renovating the Tops, Benny and the chairmen found a part of Vault 21 that they missed when House was filling it with concrete. Benny found that a portion of that corridor ran under and out of the fence of the strip, beyond House's eyes and ears. We only see part of that corridor, but that was how Benny escaped, he blew a small hole in the ceiling of the corridor and got out that way. It's also how he left Vegas to shoot you in the head since the exit was near Camp Mc Carran.
- in addition to the reasons listed above, when asking House why doesn't he have the Securitrons arrest Benny, House says something about it violating the agreement he made with the Three Families. Even if Benny didn't manage to destroy the evidence of his betrayal, the other families seeing the leader of The Chairmen being hauled away by Securitrons would probably do more long run damage to Houses plans than simply waiting for the Courier to get the chip again.
- Benny potentially knows the Securitron override code. If you approach the North Vegas Gate the first time and have a Science skill of 80, you can get past the bots. This troper has never had enough skill at this point to see what you use, but considering Benny had already taken apart and rebuilt a Securitron with the help of Emily Ortal, he could have learned the code from this process. Since the Securitrons were mass-produced, one code fits all.
Why does no one know you?
- The Courier has been A Courier at least long enough to stumble into the Divide, create a community there, blow it up, and get hired by the Mojave Express. The weapon used to blow up the Divide was given to the Courier by the NCR. The Courier works for the Mojave Express. Why doesn't Nash, who owns the Mojave Express, recognize you when you walk in the door? Why doesn't anyone in the NCR? Why doesn't anyone along the Long 15 which apparently you spent most of your time walking in the backstory?
- The Courier is more or less a mercenary. He did jobs for the Express, but not as a steady employee. He was just doing another odd job to get a little cash and have a reason to travel. To everyone else on the Long 15, you're just another drifter. Keep in mind the I-15 is an interstate, and the Courier can make reference to having been in Montana at some point.
- The NCR would probably not want to be associated with an entire town being destroyed by a nuclear device, so maybe the Courier only met with a single member of the NCR, cloak and dagger style. As for Primm, Doc Mitchell DID tell you that he had to give you some facial surgery following the two bullets you took to the head. And who says the Courier ever stopped at the Long 15? I seem to recall you can only go there if you nuke it at the end of Lonesome Road...
- The Long 15 is both a location and the name of the road, what's right now I-15. If you look at the world map on the Pip-Boy, it's the big bold line that starts at the Mojave Outpost. And, I'll concede the point about the NCR, not so much the Doc Mitchell thing since he claims to have gotten "most of it right," but still, you even show Nash the delivery order and he doesn't say anything like, Oh hey, that's you, right! I remember now.
- Nash doesn't recognize you because he's the manager of one office of the Mojave Express. It's entirely possible that the Courier simply never had a job that took him to the Primm office before.
- Maybe the office in Primm has a shift system and the Courier never had many dealings with Nash? As for Mitchell, I repeat: ''Two. Bullets. To. The HEAD''.
- Just a minor quibble, but if Ulysses gives you his gear at the end of Lonesome Road how did he still have an Old World Duster? I can accept that he may have had multiple masks, since you can find a few Radiation Masks in OWB's and Lonesome Road, but that Awesome coat must be quite rare. On a side note, was it ever confirmed that Ulysses was stalking you throughout New Vegas? If not, how did he know what faction you sided with?
- In that case, it's probably just a gameplay thing so that the player can get his unique items without being forced to kill him. It's the same thing they did with Honest Hearts.
Nuke Targeting in Lonesome Road
- With the nuke pointed at the NCR, the target makes sense; the Long 15 is of massive strategic and economic importance to both the Mojave Campaign and the Republic as a whole. But the Legion target, Dry Wells? Blowing up the bad guy's home village, which at best serves as a staging ground for minor cross-river raids, just feels petty. Doubly so that, even if you presume that Dry Wells represents the outer limit of the missile's range, placing the Legion's heartland and capital out of reach, its position at the literal ass-end of the map implies that a number of better targets, including the camps of both Caesar and the Legate, should fall within range.
- Dry Wells was Ulysses home town where Vulpes Inculta recruited him and later stripped it of its identity. So it was a personal thing for Ulysses. He might have still felt some respect for Caesar and Legate Lanius for his time with the legion (he did listen to Caesar's order not to kill Couriers after all). As for it not being of strategic value....yea can't argue with that but you have to remember that this is a man who is willing to nuke thousands of people just to make a philosophical point so he may not have been thinking all that rationally.
- In the ending where you just nuke the Legion, the narration mentions that areas all over Legion territory were nuked. Dry Wells is just the only one specifically mentioned.
- In fact, it's pretty much implied that nuking the Legion obliterated more-or-less every major Legion population center east of the Fort, and Dry Wells is simply the furthest west of the targets. Now, why they didn't nuke the fort where Caesar is is another question altogether.
- The Fort is too close to the rest of the Mojave to safely nuke it. For one thing you would almost certainly end up irradiating the Colorado river and Lake Mead which are the two main sources of clean water. With no known equivalent program to Project Purity in the Mojave and no GECK to activate it (although the NCR could potentially import one if they know where it is) you would end up creating the sort of scenario we initially see back in the Capital wasteland. Besides which, if it is indeed true that you have essentially destroyed most of Caesar's territory, his war is now effectively over regardless of whether he is still alive.
- Both the Legion and the NCR ending says that serveral ICMBS were launched not just at the Long 15 or Dry Weels.
The Wild Card Ending and the Followers of the Apocalypse
- This is kind of a minor one but it still feels annoying to me. During the Wild Card ending you are told that after you secure Vegas' independence, the Old Mormon fort is overwhelmed with new patients because of all the rampant crime and violence from the loss of order due to you booting out the NCR. This makes sense if you didn't get the Securitrons upgraded since they aren't enough by themselves to act as law enforcement for both the Strip and Freeside. But if you were smart and did get them upgraded the narration tells you that with their upgrades the securitrons were quick to stamp out any opposition or resistance on the Strip and order came again fast....yet the Followers are still overwhelmed and can't deal with all the new patients. Contradiction?
- Who's to say how quick they were? if it was about a day before the courier could restore order in las vegas it could still have many people injured and the followers would still end up swamped in with patients. any more and it would just increase the number of patients.
- Also, you have to remember that the Followers of the Apocolypse is an NGO based within the NCR's boarders (More specificly, the LA Boneyard). After the Wild Card ending, diplomatic relations between Vegas and the Republic will likely stay sour for at lease a few years. Making it difficult for the Followers to get resupplied and support from their HQ.
- Nobody ever said they were overwhelmed by wounded people, just people in general. Being the only medical practicioners left in Vegas, it's easy to imagine they got overwhelmed by people coming for dystentry shots or something. Just look at real-life humanitarian aid camps - they are always short on supplies and manpower.
- The NCR carries with it the Rule of Law. That is, a true legal system with lawyers, judges, officers of the law and prisons. An independent Vegas, even with the locked and loaded Securitrons, does not. Even Mr. House basically only had the rule "Do what I say or get shot", leaving much of Vegas a lawless ruin. Hell, probably a good number of the new patients were there to be treated after a few Securitrons administered the only form of justice they're programmed to.
- Canonically, in the Wild Card ending you only maintain order on the Strip. Outer Vegas is still controlled by local communities (assuming you got rid of the Fiends), and the Mojave is a lawless mess of towns and tribes; even Mr. House does more than you do to keep the peace (at least in Outer Vegas). As Oliver said, you don't have the resources needed to build a nation out of the Mojave. Even House either can't or won't do so; he wants New Vegas as a profitable Pre-War city-state that he can use to fund his space program, not the Mojave as a nation. So in either case, the Mojave area falls to crap; if the more powerful bandit gangs (the Fiends and the Brotherhood of Steel) are destroyed, that still leaves a mess of Jackals, Vipers and the Long 15 deathclaws making trouble, and the only law outside of New Vegas itself (or the Strip proper, in the Wild Card ending) is left to local community authorities.
Also, nobody is providing the resources that the Followers need to keep operating, since the game doesn't let you build the peace to any extent. You saw how undersupplied they were in the game; without reliable access to the Boneyard (since nobody's protecting the trade routes), and with demand increasing due to the NCR pullout, this is going to get worse.
- Yes, but the endings for the Wild Card ending are limited in a way that the other ending's aren't; they can't make assumptions of what the Courier will do in the aftermath. The game also limits the Courier's ability to, as you said, 'build the peace' because that's a large amount of extra quests to add just for one ending. But since Mr. House meddles in the affairs of certain areas depending on how you do quests (Freeside, Goodsprings, Primm, etc) then it seems reasonable that a Courier can do the same. Maybe the Courier will let everything outside the Strip rot. Maybe they'll try to rebuild the Mojave. The game can't guess that, so they just show the immediate aftermath before the Courier makes their choice.
That said, it certainly possible for the Courier to turn things around. They have access to the Big MT which is full of beneficial technologies and a team of brilliant scientists (which should naturally be used with caution), a bunker with a Sierra Madre replicator that can produce unlimited amounts of medical supplies, a dependable tourist trade, and most importantly all of the free water and power from Hoover Dam. The game demonstrates that the Courier is a crafty character that has access to a lot of special alliances and resources that they've gained through their adventures, so if anyone in the Wasteland can do it, it's the Courier. (Hell, they did it for the Divide, didn't they?)
Writing in the Sierra Madre
- Why would the previous captives feel the need to stay near the speakers long enough to write "Tick tick tick" on the walls next to them, but not disable them?
- While we're on that, wouldn't it be far more helpful to write something a bit more...informative for any others who may come along in that situation. Like "Hey stay away from the speakers they'll make your bomb collar explode and kill you!" or "Hey there's a speaker over there be careful!" instead of "Tick tick tick".
- Speakers with writing near them are usually shielded, and if The Courier with 100 in repair and science can't disable them, it's pretty unlikely that your average, possibly insane wastelander could. It's also a lot simpler and just as informative to write "tick tick tick" rather than "Hello there, that's a speaker, it's going to cause your collar to explode in a few seconds!"
- I rather got the impression that the majority of messages were left by people who did not have a complete handle on their mental faculties.
- Or a lot of time to stand around writing a more detailed message. The scrawlings were probably as much a reminder to them and anyone they were with, as much anyone new who might be unfortunate enough to come along; a kind of shorthand reminder that they themselves understood.
- Bear-traps are easy to deal with, though, and require no skill to set off, at which point they're harmless. If you're trying to say "Don't get caught in the bear trap!" why not just trigger and neutralize it, as opposed to leaving cryptic scribbles people might not see in time?
- Disarming bear traps only neutralizes them until a ghost person wanders by and rearms them. A written warning is more permanent.
The military side of The Legion
- I understand that Caesar's Legion draws a lot of its ideas from the military of the Roman Empire, but...some parts of seem to be missing. No formations? No auxiliaries? No cavalry (or even a vehicular equivalent)? No architecti? No shields? In fact, it seems like a lack of shields is the biggest offender to me. These legionnaires focus a lot on close combat, supported by the occasional ranged unit here and there. So while I can understand that a loose formation charging an NCR fireteam would be less easily mowed down than a march in perfect formation, it seems entirely reasonable to think that a lorica made out of random junk plus an improvised scutum would fare better against modern firearms than just the armor.
- Remember, the Legion's view of the Roman Empire is very skewed, as in they took the parts they liked and ignored the rest. These guys use names, ranks, and emulate the looks of the Romans, but they don't model their culture after them. They don't build great stadiums or incredible aqueducts. No, they're and organized band of slavers who play dress up. When you look at Caesar's Legion from that perspective, you'll understand why some mainstays are just ignored.
- It does, to me, seem like the military elements are the areas they'd pay the most attention to, given their militant tendencies. Though sadly, the real reasons for a lack of shields, mounted units, and half-decent formations are likely that all those things would've been a pain in the ass to code and model.
- Well, there's also the fact that the strategies of an Iron Age society, no matter how successful in their own time, are likely to be less than effective against foes with machine guns and genades. Almost any Roman formation could be torn to shreds by a handful of NCR guys. As such they'd have to come up with their own tactics and most of them are tribals with no real training in large scale battle. They're used to skimishes between a few people. Shields, particularly Roman scutums, are big heavy things, damned awkward to carry through a desert and comparatively ineffective against gunfire. They might help a bit but not enough to justify their cost. As for mounted units, when was the last time you saw a horse in Fallout? They're likely dying out. Brahmin are too slow and all other creatures we've seen that are big enough would eat their would-be riders. And finally vehicular cavalry subsitutes are right out. The most tech-savvy types, like the Brotherhood and Enclave, can just barely keep a handful of Vertiberds flying, a technophobic group like the legion is going to have no chance to produce and maintain vehicles en masse.
- This, pretty much. Roman military doctrine falls apart in the face of anything past Iron Age technology. The average Roman Legion would get smashed by a Middle Ages army, let lone a gunpowder-age one. Caesar adopted what could work, such as the doctrine of using the three lines of infantry, the heavier armor, and the brutal training and conditioning, but he dispensed with things that wouldn't work. The Roman formations would get blasted to pieces by anyone with an automatic weapon (let alone explosives), and shields would be ineffective against anything heavier than birdshot and actually slow down melee troops (who need to get into assault range fast against enemies with automatic weaponry). The Legion doesn't have any auxilliaries because of how the Legion destroys non-Legion societies; by their nature auxilliaries are mercenaries or troops who don't conform to Legion standards, which just doesn't exist in the regular Legion military. Closest you get are groups like the Omertas, Khans, or Fiends, who operate behind the NCR line. There's nothing to mount troops on that won't eat them, and the Legion certainly doesn't have mechanized capability, unlike the NCR. If anything, Caesar's doctrine is significantly different from classical Roman doctrine, as he focuses on hit and run strikes, morale-hitting operations, insurgency, intelligence gathering, and similar operations over outright direct combat. It plays to his troops' strengths.
- Are you kidding me? A shield certainly would be useful. Maybe not a proper wood-and-iron shield, but a riot shield? Modern ballistic shields can provide adequate protection against some of the lighter calibers, while being much lighter than a traditional shield. Even if it doesn't do the job against a rifle round, it's still one more thing the round has to go through before it hits the wielder, and combined with their armor it might add at least a bit of survivability without being a burden. While a state-of-the-art metal riot shield capable of absorbing rifle rounds might be too heavy for a legionaire to bother with, the simple riot shield would be a considerable benefit to the Legion.
- And where exactly are they going to get all these lightweight riot shields? Because I sure as hell don't see any lying around available for use by the Legion or anyone else. Any shield strong enough to stop rifle rounds (which the majority of NCR troops will be using) would be too heavy for feasible use with a force that depends on getting in close and cutting up the enemy in melee.
- In all likelihood, Caesar simply has not found, salvaged or produced enough riot shields to equip formations if he had wanted to do so at all. They are relatively rare items compared to firearms.
- Riot shields are not even vaguely bullet proof, most aren't even bullet resistant. The ones that are bullet resistant still only work against light handguns or shotguns and, even then, aren't reliable. Riot shields are there to stop thrown objects or to shove unarmed rioters. Ballistic shields, might be what you are thinking of, still wouldn't be a good option. The most common variants do not stop rifle rounds. They are designed to stop light hand guns, shotguns, and possibly some SMGs. In addition, armor piercing rounds go right through them. The variants that stop rifle rounds and armor piercing rounds are extremely rare, extremely heavy, and still so unreliable that most strategies forgo them in favor of not being a giant, fairly immobile target. Anything that could reliably stop the type of weapons the Legion would be going up against from groups like the NCR, Brotherhood, Enclave Remnants, and the better armed Raiders, especially given that armor piercing rounds are neither rare nor difficult to make, would be too large for someone to physically carry.
- The Not Available and Ineffective doctrines are refuted by the presence and anti-ballistic properties of the rest of the Legion's armor. Some people, somewhere, are producing plenty of Romanesque armor and it does stop/slow bullets enough to keep soldiers wearing it. And any reason to wear the armor they do have, reinforces the reason to carry shields made of the same material. A better reason not to use them is, it makes rifles extremely difficult to wield, and if you're getting close enough to the enemy to be effective with pistols or SMG's, you might as well just use spears/swords/bayonets.
- Actually, yeah, they would be pretty ineffective. Not so much at stopping bullets but at sheer weight. Body armor worn on the body itself effectively distributes the heavy weight by spreading that across the body (this being how knights were able to move so easily in a full suit of heavy plate mail). A shield of sufficient durability, thickness, and size to effectively cover the body and protect from bullets would be not only very heavy, but would have all of its weight hanging off the end of the Legionary's left arm. That's going to wear out a Legionary fast because instead of carrying that weight with his upper body and legs, its all on one arm. There's a reason why when knights shifted to full body protection with plate mail, they abandoned the shield altogether. They could get the same protection across the entire body for less effective weight and free up both hands (and most shields were actually comparatively lightweight, generally made out of wood, with even metal shields being relatively thin). Since Caesar's Legion is all about speed, mobility, and getting into the enemy's face, they almost certainly would have concluded that a shield strong enough to resist NCR bullets would be less effective than comparable body armor.
- Caesar's Legion is actually Truth in Television with regards to Roman military tactics. The Romans were good at picking up tactics from the forces around them and integrating them into their own doctrine if the tactics worked. The Legions people commonly think of when referring to Ancient Rome (the ones sporting Lorica Segmentata and all that) specifically refer to those found in the late-Republic/early-Empire era, from the late 2nd-century BC to the end of the first century AD. Early Republic formations more closely resembled the Greek phalanx, and the armies of the later Empire may not have looked that different than the Germanic tribes they fought against. The Legion in-game fights very similarly to the raider tribes they once fought against, with squads ranging from 4-6 soldiers arranged in a loose skirmish formation with a mix of scavenged melee and ranged weapons. Compare a Legion raiding party with the early Jackals and Vipers encounters particularly, any group of Fiends that doesn't have energy weapons would apply too.
- One of the first things Caesar does to subjugated tribes is rob them of their tribal identity, to make their assimilation into the Legion easier. So why doesn't Ulysses have a shaved head instead of his distinctive dreadlocks? It's a reminder of the tribe he belonged to before he was recruited (they were called The Twisted Hair for a reason), but he must have sported it when he worked as a Frumentarius, since he inspired the White Legs to imitate his style.
- It's not as if all members follow the Legion's philosophy to the letter. Frumentari are solo operatives and often undercover, so they're allowed to improvise with disguises, one of which might be dreadlocks. And besides, Ulysses may have been representing Caesar, but he resents the Legion for destroying his tribe. Once he was able, he could have grown his hair and knotted it to remeber the old ways. That's probably at the time he went rogue, anyway.
- There is also no indication that Ulysses didn't have his head shaved as part of the tribal assimilation and then rebraid his hair as it grew back out, just that he is old enough to know how to "read" the braids in his hair, before such a tradition was destroyed by the Legion.
How exactly did the Divide become a thriving community?
- Okay, so the Courier provided a trade route through the area, which led to people inhabiting the bombed out ruins, and growing the place out. Okay, except for one problem - the dust storms. All the material says that the storms have been there since before the war - they were a Big MT experiment. And they can strip the flesh from bones - I mean, look no further than the Marked Men. So, why the hell would anyone want to stay in the Divide even before it got blown up a second time?
- Presumably, they weren't nearly as bad, intense, or commonplace until after the nukes went off. Destroying the land again would send up plenty of dust and debris, and uncover more sources for the such, making them worse than before. If they did happen before, it's like how dust storms happen in real-life: when they do, people bunker down for a few days, repair the damage, and move on.
- Or the nuclear detonations reactivated the machinery that produced the dust storms, sending them into overdrive. Something like that.
Rock and Roll IS noise pollution!
- So the Fallout universe is supposed to be the 1950's vision of the future gone bad. But the music on the soundtracks for this and 3 are jazz, big band, crooners, etc. This would make sense that Rock would have been stamped out in-universe, as rock is counter-cultural and Fallout's America is extremely reactionary, but here in New Vegas there are greasers and Elvis worshippers so clearly it did exist in some form. Is there an in-universe explanation for why none of it survived?
- All radio stations are working off of available music. Three Dog only has about twenty songs, so most likely those were the only surviving tapes he's been able to find and copy. Probably the same with the New Vegas stations. The existing stations that were salvaged just didn't store any rock and roll music. The King DID have tapes of Elvis' music, but he had no way to copy them before they were destroyed.
- Rock does exist in the Fallout universe, but there's a great bit of Fridge Logic going on here. One has to remember that 1950s Las Vegas was not seen as a popular "youth" destination that embraced Rock'n'roll in the 1950s. Even though we equate Elvis with Las Vegas today, the fact is that Elvis was a failure in Las Vegas during the 1950s (his success there did not happen until the late 60s and 70s). When people think of Las Vegas, they think of the Strip. And who is on the Strip? Three types of people that 1950s Vegas catered to: Rat Packers (the Chairmen), the idle rich (the White Gloves), and gangsters (the Omertas). Who is not on the Strip? The Kings. Now, Mr. New Vegas, being under the control of Mr. House, would play music that catered to House's favored audience, which he manufactured by taking Tribals and turning them into the above three "types." The Likelihood is that House has surviving holotapes he -could- play, but just doesn't. Going along, the Mysterious Broadcast is seemingly based from Big MT, and if that played music that catered to the staff (who are all older folks), it's very unlikely that they would listen to Rock'n'Roll. On a meta level, it may simply have been too expensive to license rock songs on top of the list of songs already in the game.
Being an efficient killer makes you gay? (And vice versa?)
Non-Legion Caesar Pronunciation
- Since most of the legion pronounce Caesar as Kaizar like classic Latin, however most of the wasteland pronounce it as sizar, how did the wasteland know about the other version if the Legion keeps calling him the former?
- NCR has a bunch of ghouls, who all got their education before the Great War. Chances are, they know exactly what Caesar is pulling, and are less than impressed with it.
- Remember how Caesar learned it: he found a copy of Caesar's Commentarii which isn't exactly that common in real life. In addition, there are tons of history books still lying around in addition to the ghouls. NCR has a public school system as well... so, for the most part if they're NCR they know about the historical Caesar (though Arcade mentions he had to pick up some of his Latin through Gladiator holotapes), hell Word of God says even the New Canaanites like Joshua Graham knew Caesar as a historical figure.
- Speaking of Joshua: Why does he, of all people, being the co-founder of the Legion pronounce Caesar sizar?
- Due to him not being a member of the Legion anymore and him losing respect for Caesar. Another possibility is that they didn't learn the proper pronunciation until later, at which point Caesar corrected himself while Joshua didn't, and it's a way of him remembering fonder times before the man became a crazy guy.
- It seems like an understated Take That, which ties in with Graham not entirely succeeding in putting his past behind him. Word of God says that Graham mispronounces it because he doesn't care about saying it right, but the mispronunciation also seems to be deliberate: He would have been using the right pronunciation for 30 years, so it's unlikely that he'd have forgotten it over the past four. Plus, he actually starts to refer to Caesar as Edward before correcting himself, and given Graham's unique position within the Legion, it's likely that he never thought of Caesar as Caesar, and so has no reason to use the correct version over one that's more familiar. (Assuming that common knowledge would, like today, remember it as see-zer, while the books Caesar used gave the proper Latin pronunciation.)
- It's also brought up in Goodsprings that the Mojave residents aren't sure what to call Caesar. They hear both versions being used but pretty much say see-zur because they more interaction with the NCR than the Legion.
- This is actually a small example of fridge brilliance. The Latin Roman Empire pronounced "Ceasar" as 'Kaisar' (in fact "emperor" in German is "Kaiser," which comes from the latin of Caesar), and throughout the Roman empire the Romans knew Caesars as "Kai-zers" not "See-zars". However outside of the latin-speaking Roman empire 'Caesar' was spoken in a different language and became "See-zar", examples of this being in Greece and Britannian/Frankish dialects. Non-Latin people (or profligates/outsiders in the game) refer to Caesar with the incorrect pronunciation.
- At least one 'outsider' uses the proper pronunciation: When Follows Chalk tells you about 'Joshua and his Caesar,' he says "kai-zar." Presumably that's because the Legion came through when Follows Chalk was still young, and Joshua/other Legionaries would have used the Classical pronunciation; since Zion is isolated and Graham doesn't talk about his past, the tribals wouldn't have learned to say it any other way. I think Marcus says it as well, though he's possibly educated enough (thanks to his age and travels) to know the difference.
Generators and Vehicles
- Small generators are a common sight. Why is no one using internal combustion engines to power cars and trucks?
- The generators are probably rigged to run off of fusion cells, or those batteries you can loot off of robots. Where would you get gasoline in the wasteland anyway? This isn't like Waterworld, where there's an oil tanker just laying around.
- The generators are clearly internal combustion engines - you can hear them chugging away. You wouldn't run a generator off batteries, you would just use the batteries. You don't need to find gasoline in the Wasteland: the Boomers have a "biodiesel" plant, and engines can run on alcohol.
- Because it's cheaper to use brahmin. A lot of people forget that cars need far more than just gasoline, namely spare parts, tires, chassis parts to replace rusted through elements, wiring and more. In fact, NCR using trucks to transport goods (pay a visit to Mc Carran and look immediately right of the entrance) speaks volumes of their industry and power.
Freeside as a slum
- If Freeside is a slum (by both Mojave and California standards), why are so many NCR citizens immigrating into Freeside, rather than Freeside locals trying to emigrate to California in the hopes of a better standard of living? Alternatively, if Freeside is prosperous by California standards, why are NCR charity workers distributing help to NCR squatters rather than focusing on the even poorer people in California?
- The immigrants aren't people who want to move to Freeside, they're people who want to move to New Vegas. NCR territories aren't poorer, and even the poorest live in a country with a developed infrastructure, safety ensured by an actual police and military, an expanding economy, and a stable government. The downtrodden see the gleaming lights of New Vegas and believe they can find their fortune among its card tables. However, many of them spend all of their money just getting there and aren't able to even get into Vegas, and many of the ones who got in have their pockets cleaned, so they all end up in Freeside while being unable to finance a return journey. Same with the inverse; Freesiders are too poor to make the journey. Criticizing the NCR charities is ridiculous. Thats like asking why there are charities that aid poor families in America while there are millions starving in Africa. There are NCR citizens who need help in the same city where NCR Military forces are stationed, so why wouldn't they send them extra food and water?
House keeping you out of Vegas
- House wants to meet with you, so he presumably doesn't want you to be locked out of the Strip and unable to get to the Lucky 38. He doesn't have precise control over every securitron, but surely having Victor give you a strip passport that the gate securitrons would recognize as authentic (because it would be!) wouldn't be beyond his abilities, would it? In short, House has Victor trying to get you onto the Strip and into the Lucky 38 throughout the early parts of the game, but he seems incapable of circumventing the fact that his own gate securitrons exclude people with less than 2,000 caps on them from entry — even to make an exception for the courier he regarded as so crucial. (Come to think of it, even if Benny hadn't shown up and the Courier's delivery had gone according to plan, how was the Courier — or other Couriers of the Mojave Express — supposed to make a delivery to the Strip? Do they all carry at least 2,000 caps, or have forged passports from Ralph?)
- House does not aid the Courier in any capacity other than Victor occasionally kicking ass. House likely expects that the courier is resourceful enough to make his own way into the Strip since the Courier has likely romped around the wasteland gaining resources and other various skills to become a useful asset to House. This is implied when House lauds your skill at the end of his questline "I've had thousands of employees, none of them as resourceful as you" and further evidenced that House does not lend a few of his killer deathbots when it would be beneficial to the Courier (Such as killing the Brotherhood). All of that can be justified as House isn't showing all of his cards as he likes to remain behind the scenes to manipulate events. House personally clearing a package Courier into the Strip will draw some suspicion which House feels like he can't afford. House's next objective after meeting the Courier is to obtain the Platinum chip from Benny, who's likely (And we later find out is) keeping track of House's plan. As for Couriers delivering items to the strip, it's likely that the mojave express doesn't operate there (There is no Mailbox that you can send your stuff to in the strip, only in freeside) or the Strip residents use the securitrons as intermediaries (House likely would use such a profitable convenience).
- FYI, there is a Mojave Express dropbox on the strip. It's in the Las Vegas Boulevard station.
- It's a good question though, especially when it comes to the original plan. Presumably, if all had gone to plan or any other courier was making a regular delivery to the Strip, they'd need to be able to get in to complete the job. Perhaps they have passports or some kind of identification they can use that The Courier lost during the events of the introduction. The Courier was hired to bring the Platinum Chip to the Strip after all, so it must have been expected that they'd be able to get in easily. Given the importance of the Chip, it's a lot for House to leave to chance...then again, he's pretty good at predicting the odds...
- All this assumes that the original delivery plan was set. The Platinum Chip may itself have been the passport, with Victor or another Securitron at the gate ready to take it and pay the fee. Then Benny goes and makes his move ...
- The original plan, as written on your delivery order was to deliver the package to the North Gate, where the hand-off would occur. I have no explanation as to why House wouldn't let you in when that didn't work out.
Mick n' Ralph's Secret Inventory
- Here's something that has always bugged me. When you go to Mick n' Ralph's shop, you can go to Mick and after checking out his weapons, you can ask if he has anything better. He asks if you work for any of the casinos. You can say 'no' and get to see his secret inventory with a relatively low speech check, but you could still fail it depending on your level or how you invested your points. The other option is to say 'yes'. The thing is, you don't work for any casinos at this point. In fact, at this point, the only casino you are likely to have entered into is the Vicky & Vance or the Atomic Wrangler, none of the Strip casinos he is referring to. In other words, in order to fail the speech check, the Courier successfully lies in order to block his or herself from getting this secret stash, possibly on purpose. Or through incredible stupidity, even if your character has a high INT score. What else could possibly make him/her lie about this when the correct answer is so incredibly obvious?
- Because if you haven't met Mick before, you might automatically assume that being affiliated with the casinos will get you access to the special inventory - there's no way of knowing how Mick feels about the casinos before you do a certain quest. As demonstrated in a number of other speech checks, an option that requires a speech check is not automatically the best option.
- The Speech Check is probably more about Mick believing your answer, being wary of anyone who might possibly be working for the casinos. You could be telling the truth, but he doesn't know that. A character with a low Speech skill - ie. someone who in-universe doesn't have a way with words - isn't going to sound as convincing as a smooth talker, even if they're being honest.
- A better question is why players can't purchase the full inventory on display. Why can't I buy the Infiltrator clearly displayed on the wall?
- Except that you are working for a casino by that point, and you have been working for them from before the start of the game : The Luck 38!
- Why is Silus still wearing his centurion armor when he's a prisoner at McCarran? why didn't they strip him of it, and maybe given him a prisoner uniform like that worn by some powder gangers? Considering that centurion armor's damage threshold (18) is the same as an NCR service rifle's damage, this is more than a question of idle symbolic gestures.
- They probably didn't have a uniform handy. Also, the damage threshold vs. damage thing is a video game mechanic; the closest equivalent to that statement in storyline terms is just that the armor can effectively handle a 5.56mm round without the person wearing it being mortally wounded with the first shot. He doesn't even have a helmet, and large portions of his body are totally exposed if he came under heavy fire. He's unarmed, behind a hermetically sealed door, and monitored. He's in the middle of a camp filled with armed soldiers. If Silus was able to actually escape all of that, being able to withstand one or two bullets would be the least of the NCR's worries regarding their security.
- Silus should still have been stripped of his armor, since he is being interrogated. Prisons (and the military) remove personal effects from their subjects to make the individual vulnerable; for prisoners, it's to force compliance by giving them nothing to hide behind or cling to, and for soldiers it's to make them rely on each other through shared suffering. One of the reasons hospitals can be intimidating is that they do the same thing (no clothes, no personal effects, generic clothing).
- Think about it guys: Centurions-hell, any Legion soldier-commit suicide rather then be captured. The NCR managed to *capture a Centurion alive*. They don't care about protocol, this is about waving their giant erection in Caesar's face and saying "Look! We got one of your best warriors locked up in here!"
- Do you want to volunteer to go get the big highly-experienced enemy combatant who is a member of an organization known for its skill in close combat to strip down? Even if they tried to force him at gunpoint, they don't want to push him into trying something stupid like fighting back and going for someone's gun, because if he's dead, they can't interrogate him.
Boone abandons his post
- Boone is supposed to be guarding the town from nighttime raider or Legion incursions from the east, right? So when Boone leaves with the Courier, who covers the night shift? What happens if a Legion party comes a-knocking when Boone is away in the wastes with the Courier or hanging out in the Lucky 38? It kinda seems like Boone is being extremely irresponsible, seeing as no one replaces Boone in Dinky's mouth at night.
- Well, yeah. He just killed one of the townspeople, the mayor if you bring the correct person in front of the dino. He can't stick around. It's Novac's fault for not replacing him.
- Boone did say at one point that he wasn't worried about the townsfolk knowing it was him, as people died often enough that they either won't suspect foul play, or don't want to. He could totally have stayed on. It would in fact have been much more suspicious that he disappeared the same night Jeannie May went missing or died.
- Plus he hates Novac in general by this point. He strongly suspects that everyone was colluding with the Legion to get his wife kidnapped, and everyone is treating him differently afterward. He doesn't care about Novac anymore; they betrayed him in his eyes, so fuck 'em.
House gets scooped...twice?
- If you start completing quests in the "Wild Card" chain, your reputation starts dropping with both the NCR and the Legion. The stated reason given (in the quests announcing the rep loss) is that both groups have spies who are informing them that you're up to something with Yes Man. Here's the the thing, though: Mr. House seems to be totally ignorant of your dealings with Yes Man (in fact, he doesn't even know about Yes Man's existence unless you explicitly tell him). So how is it that House the Great and Powerful, the much-vaunted analytic supergenius who has eyes everywhere in the Mojave, doesn't realize that you're plotting to betray him with one of his own robots and in the middle of his own territory...but the NCR and the Legion know all about it? How is it possible that they have better intel on what's going on in the Strip than House does?
- Yeah, that bugged me too. The only explanation I could think of is that the NCR and Legion don't know about Yes Man, they're just observing your movements and realize you're working against them in general. Likewise, a lot of the things you do in the Wild Card playthrough are similar to what House tells you to do. Maybe he thinks you're just taking the initiative and still working for him.
- Yes Man's entire purpose was to gather information without alerting Mister House. According to his instruments Yes Man doesn't even exist. Of course this doesn't explain how you can talk about your plans in the middle in the street. Maybe Securitrons don't like eavesdropping on one another?
- That's the point. What House can't see the Securitrons can't see, so they have no idea Yes Man exists either. As for you, you're one person, muttering to themselves(from their point of view) in the middle of a crowded, noisy Strip. How can they hear anything? A running sink is enough to fool all but the best modern-day recorders, there's no way they can make out what you're saying.
No House/Wild Card option for the Remnants
- Why is the Courier only allowed to recruit the Remnants to fight for either the NCR or the Legion? If you decide to back House or go for the Wild Card ending, you'll have irretrievably alienated both the Legion and the NCR by the time you get the quest, so there's no reason for the Courier to ask them to fight for either side and every reason to ask them to fight with the Securitrons.
- Both of those paths are about assisting the NCR military effort, and dealing with them after sending off the legion. It goes with the plan to have the remnants fight with the NCR.
- Neither path is about assisting the NCR. The only mission in them that could even be interpreted that way is saving Kimball from assassination. The others either don't relate to the NCR at all or involve actively undermining them by diverting their resources toward the Securitrons.
- What do you want them to do, take on both armies by themselves? It's easy to miss, but Arcade does say that in order to secure New Vegas' independence the NCR would have to win the battle at Hoover Dam. Mister House (and by extension Yes Man) believe the same thing, given that Securitrons support the NCR during the battle. Although if you mean in the final gunfight with General Oliver, that was kind of silly, a case of developer oversight I'd wager.
- Why not just have an option to say 'We may be fighting with the NCR against the Legion, but once the dust is clear we won't be giving them the Dam.' Say as an alternative to the speech check for Moreno?
- Boone is the least intelligent human companion in the game, with an INT of 3. But at no point in the game does he act like a character with an INT score of three. He doesn't have dumb dialogue or confuse basic statements, which other characters with Intelligence that low do. I mean, he's not smart, but he should be average(5)or just below average(4).
- You shouldn't put too much stock in NPC stats. Caesar has INT 4 despite everybody insisting he's a genius. Mister House has INT 5 despite demonstrably being a genius. Mister House also has END 10 despite every muscle in his body having atrophied. Marcus is also very erudite, but also has INT 3. Stats should only be given credence as far as they can be applied.
- Attributes are hidden from the players and have an impact on how some things in the game actually function. The attributes are more likely to be selected by gameplay issues rather than as guides to characterization.
The lack of impact on your Karma at the end of Lonesome Road
- At the end of the Lonesome Road, if you refuse to let ED-E sacrifice itself to disarm the nukes, you were given the option to nuke either the NCR, the Legion, or both of the factions. Judging by the ending narration (The history of the West was erased for the second time, thorough and complete... and America slept once more.) and the fact that President Kimball (who most likely resides in the NCR's capital in Shady Sands) will be killed if you nuked the NCR, it can be infer that pretty much every single major population center in the Core Region/Legion territory were eradicated by you and Ulysses' actions, with the Long 15/Dry Wells being the west/east most target. How come you don't loss massive Karma for this? Regardless on your political views on the NCR and the Legion, the immediate collateral damage on innocent civilians alone makes this perhaps one of the most evil actions you can take in the entire series, surpassing joining the Khan raiders/blowing up Gecko's reactor/nuking Megaton by a huge margin, and almost on par with betraying Vault 13 to the Unity or adding Eden's FEV to Project Purity. How come you are still viewed by everyone as a Saint after committing the worst mass genocide since the Great War?
- There's a lot of this kind of thing in New Vegas, and it's almost certainly because Obsidian didn't care about the karma system. They just left it in because they were working off of Fallout 3's engine and didn't care enough to remove it.
- If going by the fact your karma isn't affected, take it as the opinion of the New Vegas citizens, you did them a massive favor by cutting off both invading armies by delivering a proverbial sword of fire that threatens the Eden that is New Vegas. To them, the NCR is as much as a devil as the Legion and wouldn't miss them.
Yes Man and Oliver
- In the Independent ending, you can ask Yes-Man to throw Olivier off the Dam. Him being what he is, he panics and asks Yes-Man to get away from him. If Yes-Man still hasn't upgraded himself yet, why was Olivier still thrown off the dam?
- There's never really been a way shown for him to decide on what to do if given conflicting orders. But in this case ... Benny would've likely ordered him to do whatever it took to take control of the Strip. The Courier gave him the order to toss Oliver. Oliver may have just been out-voted 2-1 in his circuits. (In fact, this may be what prompts Yes Man to upgrade himself, so he stays loyal to the Courier. Which itself shows that Yes Man does have a small amount of self-motivation ... )
- Actually, it makes sense, in a way. Technically speaking, Yes Man is following both the Courier's and Oliver's orders. By throwing Oliver off the dam, Yes Man is getting away from Oliver, or at least getting Oliver away from him.
Protection From Yes Man
- A related question: why don't Oliver's NCR Veteran Rangers step up to protect him from Yes Man? I know they established that Oliver was unpopular with the troops, but twiddling your thumbs while your commanding officer gets defenestrated by a killer robot has to be some kind of black mark on your service record.
- The Securitron force is powerful enough that fighting back would lead to a Pyrrhic Victory at best and a total slaughter at worst. By this point most of the Rangers are probably thinking "screw it, the Legion's out of the picture and I'm not sticking my neck out any further than I have to."
- Oliver isn't just hated by the troops, he is also regular army and hates the Rangers. Oliver also had the majority of the Rangers "chasing ghosts in Baja" for most of the game, which can't have endeared him to the Rangers. Add to that the fact that he is dangerously incompetent, and... well,it's not like there isn't a history of bad officers having battlefield "accidents". The Rangers have absolutely no incentive to keep him alive, and all they have to do is agree on a reason why it was impossible for them to save Oliver to get away scot-free.
- Why did the Courier, carrying the Platinum Chip, go to Goodsprings? Everyone knows that the way to Vegas behind the cemetery is filled with cazadores, radscorpions, and the likes. It's evident that Benny and his Great Khan goons didn't bring his unconscious body to Goodsprings, it showed them camping out near Goodsprings, waiting for the Courier to pass through in All Roads. Since it's obvious the Courier started from the Mojave Express in Primm, going to Goodsprings would be the wrong way. So why did he/she go there?
- That was the route the Courier was supposed to take. House had a force of mercenaries clearing the road between Goodsprings and New Vegas so that the Courier would arrive unmolested. He explicitly says as much when you meet him. Benny just swooped in behind them while they were dealing with the monsters along the route and jumped the Courier him/herself.
No BOS support for an Independent Vegas?
- One thing that bugs me is the fact that the Brotherhood of Steel can't be persuaded to fight at Hoover Dam for you if you choose the Wild Card route for the Main Quest. It's understandable why they wouldn't fight for the Legion or Mr. House: One is convinced that the Brotherhood would just be a safety hazard and the other is an army of ruthless slavers. But the only way they'll ever participate in the Battle of Hoover Dam is if you get them to side with the NCR, and you do the same.
Considering that the NCR is responsible for the relatively shitty state that the Brotherhood is in right now, don't you think they'd want to really get back at the NCR as much as, if not more, than Caesar's Legion? Sure, the Brotherhood will storm HELIOS One and seize it from the NCR/Legion while the battle takes place at Hoover Dam, but surely the Courier could at least attempt to get some direct support by requesting McNamara or Hardin to send a squad of Paladins to help the Courier as (s)he blasted his/her way through the dam?
Considering the Great Khans can be persuaded to launch a suicide attack on the Hoover Dam which involves attacking both the NCR and the Legion simultaneously, and the Boomers will help the Courier regardless of the side they choose, why the hell can't you try getting the Brotherhood to do something similar?
At least the Enclave remnants not getting an Wild Card option is forgivable by the fact that they'll still show up to whoop Legion ass if you got them to side with the NCR, even if you take the Independent route. But the Brotherhood of Steel doesn't show up at the Dam if you take that option, even if you got them to side with the NCR beforehand. Are you seriously telling me that the only way you'll ever get to marvel at the idea of two bitter enemies like the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave working together against a common enemy, is if you get them and yourself to work for the very faction that basically hunted the two groups down like animals?! They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot, if you ask me.
- The mission and goals of the Brotherhood of Steel can never support the Independent Vegas, so long as New Vegas is patrolled by Securitrons (such technology wouldn't be cool with the Brotherhood). It's the same reason why House won't work with the Brotherhood, he knows the Brotherhood can't and won't work with him.
- Even if say, you offered the city and dam to them and you were a member of their Brotherhood? If they were in control of the thing everyone's fighting the war over along with bolstering their numbers with hyper deadly Securitrons (Which seems rather similar to the Outcasts using robots to reinforce their numbers) It'd make them a force to be reckoned with in the West again, and as far as I know wouldn't be in violation of the Codex since they would be acquiring old world tech and helping themselves, and getting the upper hand on their enemies the NCR.
- That seems like a good idea at first, but it would also make them a massive target. The Brotherhood is nothing if not isolationist, and they lack the numbers (even boosted by the Securitrons) to hold out effectively against the NCR and Legion in the long run. It could be done, but it falls under the category of "more trouble than it's worth" and while the dam is Old World tech, it doesn't blow shit up, so the Brotherhood doesn't particularly care. They also don't give a sweaty power-armored fart in a bunker about the city unless someone's throwing energy weapons around.
- The Mojave Brotherhood's main problem is dithering and sitting on their power-armored hands while they could be doing things to advance themselves. Why would this be any different?
Power Helmets in Fallout 3 vs. New Vegas
- Is there any particular reason why power helmets in this game lack the voice distortion effect they had in Fallout 3? I can understand why the NCR's salvaged power helmets wouldn't have it, since the electronics for those suits would have been gutted/disabled before/when they acquired them. But why don't any power helmets or similar headgear in New Vegas have the distortion effect?
Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas have the exact same game engine, plus the former came first, so it couldn't have been technical limitations during development of the game. Not to mention that in Fallout 2, characters wearing power helmets (e.g. Sgt. Dornan) had the distortion effect applied to their voices, and a lot of the people that worked on New Vegas previously worked on that game, too! So what gives?
- I'm 99% fairly certain it's a bug on your end, as I always get the voice distortion effect for those helmets. Hell, I get the distortion effect when I shouldn't, as the females' metal helmet is unmasked but applies the same distortion sounds appropriate for the male version.
Rationality of a highly intelligent female courier joining the Legion
- What would be a plausible reason why a good karma courier who is extremely intelligent would join the Legion? Actually why would Caesar even allow her to exist? She is the very simple of everything the Legion would depise that if she so much as come to cottonwood she would be slave collared on sight.
- Caesar tells you exactly why he allows her to exist: He has been keeping an eye on the Courier ever since she showed up in Vegas, and that the Courier is able to gain access to House, the NCR, Benny, and so forth makes her a potential tool in his quest. As for why a Courier of good alignment would choose Caesar is simply pragmatism. We were supposed to see more content to show us that, for all of the slavery and brutality, the Legion provided the most stable and least corrupt government in the Wasteland.
- That and Caesar probably figured that if he had her under his wing, it would (a) secure him swift victory and (b) ensure she doesn't decide to declare a one-woman war on him and his faction. Also, good luck collaring the Courier. I imagine one of Caesar's officers suggested that very thing, but Caesar was Genre Savvy enough to instead offer her a position in the Legion instead.
- The only possible way I can even see a female courier with sufficient intelligence to join the Legion is probably a Vault City citizen as in the post game ending, First Citizen Lynette was in awe by the Enclave and wanted to set up diplomatic relations with them after their defeat. That is probably the only explainable reason as the female courier probably knew Vault Society is as autocratic as it is. The Legion is slightly worse/better than them in her opinion.
- I've found playing a female courier for the Legion to be difficult to rationalize. But there are reasons. One is simply sex appeal, Caesar is an attractive man in a sadistic horrifying sort of way. Or she might only care about particular aspects of politics, after all even cannibals have rights. But also, the simple hopelessness of the situation. The Legion is an unstoppable force, better to be the devil's right hand than in his path.
- As for her not being collared or being threatened with slavery, they are sadistic, sexist, and probably fucking crazy. But they(or at least their leaders) are not stupid. They know if the Courier decides to declare war or they try to enslave her, at best they lost a valuable ally, at worst, they got a war with her army, which to put it in a simple way, is the Legion "pissing on the bear." Plus, lets say the Courier hasn't joined them completely, and NCR still is in Vegas, if they betray her, she might help her original boss, fight all 3, or join the NCR. Basically, they don't want to lose a valuable ally that can/will kill them if she gets betrayed by them.
Dead Money Fortune
- One thing that interested me in Dead Money was the lack of material interest of all of your collar mates. Dean was in it to send a final fuck you to Sinclair, Christine with her hunt for Elijah and Dog/God's desire for food/control. How bad would the Courier's odds be if he had a typical treasure hungry companion and if they are merciful, convince them to let go.
- Elijah is the treasure-hungry companion. He can't let go, since he's the only one whose goal cannot be reached without staying in Sierra Madre. That's the point.
Very Evil People
- New Vegas have a few NPCs marked as very evil. While I can understand why Cook Cook and Vulpes being complete monsters, but I don't get why Duke, Mortimer and Philippe are established as such. Sure, Mortimer is an Faux Affably Evil cannibal behind the scene that kidnaps and eats people and being a fop and Duke being a fiend, but we know nothing of him. How are they more evil than anyone else? I'm mostly bothered with Philippe. While he's involved with Mortimer's cannibalism, he's mostly a f-ed-up jerk thanks to trauma, not much different from nightkins.
- Cannibalisim is a crime against nature and Mortimer is pushing the the White Glove to eat humans regularly, so he qualifies as very evil. Duke is a named fiend, so one could assume that he is an overachiever in evil. Philippe on the other hand... I would say that hes amoral but very evil was the only option that fit.
- Cannibalism can be justified when there's no other way, but that certainly doesn't apply to the White Gloves. Yes, it makes sense that Mortimer is Very Evil, since he's essentially a Corrupter. A Devil Figure of sorts. It's also worth noting that (at least for the player) every act of cannibalism lowers your karma even if no one sees it. Not to mention they've been abducting and killing civilians to sate their "hunger".
- Although I find it strange that he's Very Evil while Big Sal and Nero are not, but it could be a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, since Lanius has Neutral karma.
Radio Signals in Dead Money?
- In Dead Money, you and your fellow captives are equipped with collars that are set to explode when they receive certain radio waves; due to the jury rigging done to them is wider then need be. This might seem legit but then you find out that if you destroy radios themselves that will stop your collar form receiving the radio frequencies. What's wrong with this is that radios do not broadcast radio frequencies, rather radios receive radio frequencies, same as the intercom system and your Pipboy. By this logic you should be flooded with the signal all the time (except where it's blocked) or receive no signal at all. Instead radio waves linger around radios and intercoms like radiation lingers around nuclear waste.
- It's been a while since I played, but weren't they in fact set off by high-pitched sound coming from the Villas speaker system?
10mm VS 9mm
- I'm someone who has very minimal firearms knowledge so I have got to ask: Are there any advantages in real life a 10mm handgun would have over a 9mm handgun given how superior they are in-game? If there are; why are there no popular 10mm guns? (If they exist at all.)
- There's quite a bit more energy in a 10mm cartridge than a 9mm, ~1000 Joules vs. ~600 depending on load. There are a decent number of handguns available in 10mm, but since it's only been around since the early 1980s, the 9mm (intrdoduced all the way back in 1902) is much more common. Its ubiquity as a sidearm for law enforcement helps, as does the relatively low cost of both ammunition and the guns with which to fire it.
- In firearms terms, there's more difference between a 10mm and a 9mm than just the size of the bullet. As noted above there's a difference in energy due to the physics of moving a larger, heavier bullet. There is also a considerable difference in recoil after firing, and a difference in size of the pistols necessary to fire either cartridge. 10mm hasn't really caught in due in part to the stiffer recoil when compared to other calibers (the FBI adopted .40S&W for this reason) and the size of the pistol preventing easy carry. Most 10mm guns are also more expensive than tried-and-true 9mm guns.
- Just as a historical note, the 10mm Auto cartridge was originally intended to be the "new big thing". For a game based on 1950s technological style, it was appropriately "futuristic" to have an '80s technology, and even assuming that it was a genuine flub on the part of the original Fallout 1 designers failing to appreciate the relative lateness of the 10mm invention, it can easily be justified as "well, it's one bigger than 9mm — that makes it better". The real 10mm Auto failed abysmally, since everyone simply preferred the ubiquity of 9mm Luger, until Fackler did his FBI review. Of course, they settled on .40 S&W: similar but not the same, since 10mm Auto was a bit too long.
Vit-O-Matic Vigor Testers
- How do they actually work?
- I think the joke here is that they don't — or at least that they shouldn't. Similar "testing" machines existed in arcades and transit stations (airports, bus depots) in the 80s and 90s and claimed to be able to read your capacity for love, happiness, life success, stamina, or whatever-else on the basis of your grip strength. I think this is a deliberate lampshade that somehow, on the basis of your ability to squeeze the trigger, it can develop a complete profile on you — strength and endurance are obvious, but extending farther and farther into metaphysical attributes like agility, perception, intelligence, charisma and even luck are the hilarious extrapolations.
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