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- The earliest example can be seen with Goodsprings, where Doc Mitchell helps patch up the Courier's head wound, and almost all the other locals offer helpful, friendly advice or assistance. However, siding with Goodsprings during the conflict with Joe Cobb's gang is where it all comes to a head, where you convince all the locals to band together and beat back the Powder Gangers. Essentially, you saved them just because they saved you.
- Another early (if mild) example provided by your Pip-Boy's radio:
Mr. New Vegas: It's me again, Mr. New Vegas, reminding you that you're nobody 'til somebody loves you. And that somebody is me. I love you.
- If you sided with the NCR and chose right during a certain quest at Camp Golf, you get to hear that the Misfits squad that you re-trained singlehandedly held off a Legion assault during the finale, and the related ending slide is impossible not to smile at.
- Even better if you resolved the Misfits' quest by following O'Hanrahan's advice rather than squad leader Mags' advice. Put this way: Mags' advice leads to the Misfits beating the Legion by being more skilled soldiers, whereas O'Hanrahan's advice leads to the Misfits beating the Legion because they finally learned how to set aside their animosity towards each other and work together.
- Simply completing the quest causes Mr. New Vegas to include a special bit of news that can be a little difficult to avoid feeling fuzzy over. Paraphrased:
Mr. New Vegas: In other news, a group of soldiers stationed at Camp Golf shattered NCR records in a combat readiness evaluation. Go get 'em, guys.
- Even before completing the Misfits' sidequest, the squad shows that they don't completely hate each other, either; O'Hanrahan, when asked about his squadmates, mentions that Poindexter taught him how to make fireworks, of all things!
- Depending on your political views, getting the good karma NCR or Independent ending can become one.
- The Enclave Remnants. All of them are genuinely tragic characters, and it leaves players with the rather uncomfortable feeling that there were a lot more like them in the Enclave military. They weren't even Punch Clock Villains either, with the semi-exception of Moreno, and even then all he was guilty of was never questioning orders.
- Kreger, a father to his men and the main reason the Remnants were able to escape the destruction of Navarro.
- Johnson, a soldier who never hesitated to question or disobey any morally-shaky orders. He is found alone in a cave, literally waiting for death to come for him, believing that he has no real reason to keep living.
- Moreno, easily the "worst" of the bunch, but only because he never questioned the Enclave in any regard, be it morality or political legitimacy. When the NCR were overrunning Navarro, the one thing he felt true loyalty to was as good as destroyed. Worse? The NCR routinely harasses him in the Mojave Wasteland for squatting in an abandoned house. That he was "squatting" in before the NCR came into the region.
- Whitman, who loved flying above all else. When Navarro fell, she was essentially grounded. The only reason she even lives in Novac is because it's close to the REPCONN facility, and she still holds out hope that she can finding working rocket parts.
- Dr. Henry, who is possibly the coldest selfless person in the Wasteland. He researches cures for the worst of diseases and conditions, yet does so because he wants to solve them simply because they are problems, not because he explicitly wants to help people, and when he's finished, he moves on to the next. Arcade outright states that Doc Henry has probably saved more lives than he (Arcade) ever will, but that he will probably not be remembered for any of it.
- The end of "Crazy, Crazy, Crazy", assuming you take the good end by helping Rhonda. Big, scary Tabitha, who's only screamed about the inferiority of humans and normally attacks you on sight, appears to meet you outside. She's so struck by Rhonda's resurrection that she's practically speechless, and doesn't even know what she's going to do anymore. But she's happy, and walks off peacefully with her friend into the wastes. The ending goes on to say that they adventured through the lands of Caesar for many years, their tales eventually collected into a book, which was very popular with children. D'awww.
Rhonda: "Mistress Tabitha, we should be heading off. Our journey has been much delayed, but we can catch up if we hurry. Come along, now."Tabitha: "Yes, Rhonda..."
- It's even better if you just happen to have fixed the robot because you compulsively fix every robot you see, and then you get to see the reunion. It can come as a shock to someone who's slaughtered all of Tabitha's underlings.
- And during, when you enter the broadcast tower, you have the option to tell Tabitha you're a huge fan of her work. Though she still tries to kill you, she takes a moment to relate her appreciation for the gesture.
- When you are with Veronica, she will mention that she really wants to wear a pretty and elegant looking dress. You can fulfill her dream by giving her a formal wear. She will let out an audible squee and thank you for your kindness. After seeing everything that she has to go though, it is heartwarming to see a moment of real joy from her.
- The end of Come Fly With Me. Jason Bright's final speech declaring all who helped him and his group saints shows just how he was able to get so many ghouls to follow him.
- Similarly, if you go through the extra (annoyingly time-consuming) effort to not kill any of the feral ghouls in the area because you remember how terrible Bright felt about them getting killed, at the end of the quest, you get to see all of them down by the rockets with the normal ghouls, and no ferals left in the building.
- If you choose the best ending and not side with the Legion, Jason speaks of Chris doing everything in his abilities to help the Bright Followers out. You not only get a rousing speech about both of your achievements, but also about how they would be reunited after the game, and Jason will have nothing but praise for Chris when he's rescued by the Bright Followers during the attack on Novac. This makes him not only a saint to ghouls, but also to the people of Novac, who see him as a saviour from certain death.
- Talking Chris out of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge by telling him how the Followers truly did consider him a friend and ally is also quite touching. After the quest, if you talk to him in Novac, instead of bitterly telling you to piss off (which he would do if you completed the quest the good way but didn't convince him he was human), he instead admits that it will be hard, but that the assurances of both you and the Followers have convinced him to use his healthy tech knowledge to help the town.
- Becoming Idolised by the Boomers altogether is rather heartwarming, as you manage to get them to overcome their rampant xenophobia and make them see that not everyone from the Wasteland is a hostile savage. It's rather heartwarming to hear them catch themselves when talking to you and begin referring to you as the "Sav-... Outsider". It's as good a start as any.
- Along the same lines, Saving (rather than savaging) Sergeant Teddy for Melody at the Fort.
- When you search around many NCR military bases, you will find letters that the soldiers stationed there wrote to their family and friends; many of them are really touching.
A Letter that can be found in the barracks at Hoover Dam: "Angela, my sweet. How slowly time crawls without the touch of your lips. I know you're still angry I enlisted, but I did it for you and for country - I won't have Legion scum anywhere near you or on NCR soil. Those red-skirted pansies don't stand a chance against me, don't you worry your pretty little head. Soon as my tour's up, I'll be home and you'll be in my arms again. I'll have a ring in my pocket and a question to pop. You know what I mean. Yours always, Elaine"
- In general, being inside of the Fort is either intense Tear Jerker fodder in the form of exhausted, hopelessly trapped slaves, or Nightmare Fuel in the form of how eager Legionaries are to commit atrocities in the name of their overlord. However, when you see child legionaries being trained by an Instructor, and talk to the Instructor, he gives an oddly camaraderie-laden line:
Instructor: I'm harsh on the children, but they'll make excellent Legionnaires. I'm quite proud of them.
- The good ending of "They Went That-a Way", where you convince Jessup to release the NCR hostages and assure him you'll convince the NCR leader to not just let them go, but escort them out of the area. Then, when you report back to the NCR leader, you convince him to honor the deal, even though it would be defying a direct order from his superiors, by appealing to his moral integrity as a soldier.
- Rescuing Joana from Gomorrah and reuniting her with her lover, Carlos, especially if you do it without asking for any sort of payment. After they leave Vegas for Freeside, they gratefully tell you that they'll never forget you. Joana even tells you the Omertas are up to something big if you haven't found that out yourself yet.
- It was cut out of the game before release, but it is still heartwarming: Dr. Keely, the ghoul researcher in Vault 22, was supposed to have a protectron companion named Bohr. Protectrons talk in monotone and never really show any kind of attachment to anything, except for Bohr. He talks to the Courier very politely and chews him/her out for being rude. But what cements this as heartwarming is his concern for Keely, who went to the lower levels days ago and never returned. He shows genuine concern for his master, which no other robot besides ED-E does in the game.
Bohr: I couldn't say, exactly. She went down to the lower levels some time ago and hasn't been back since. Do you suppose something has happened to her?The Courier: Perhaps. I'll go down and look for her.
- Hearing the grateful praises from numerous NPCs after killing Cook Cook, especially those from his former victims like Betsy and the Westside innkeeper, Pretty Sarah.
- Similarly, tons of NPCs will give you congratulations and even free drinks after killing Caesar - considering how he and his Legion have brought war and destruction to the Mojave, hearing the absolute relief of the people now that he's gone definitely gives a heck of a Hope Spot, showing how The Legion, mighty as it is, isn't at all invincible, and they CAN be beaten back.
- The NCR relief efforts. They're quietly feeding their own citizens because their efforts to coordinate with the Kings have been sabotaged. When you explain that you have a friend but you thought he might not get served because he's a Local, she agrees... but then hands you another portion to take back to him anyway. The NCR may not be perfect, but they're trying.
- Recovering Morales' body from the Fiends, and hearing the amazed reactions from the NCR soldiers who witnessed the entire thing. One of them will actually be horrified if you're heavily injured, calling for a medic and wondering at why you "sacrificed your body" to save Morales' corpse. If you respond by saying that you made his wife a promise, he'll tell you that they'll take the body from here, adding that you won't need to haul him back to California yourself, even though he knows you would if you had to.
- If you get to a level of Accepted within the NCR, a Ranger will come along and give you a two-way radio. With it, you can call for supplies or support. The ranger who gives it to you basically says that you have done good by them and they have your back. Even if you never use it, it's good to feel like you are never alone out there.
- With an Idolized reputation, find a group of NCR Veteran Rangers and chat them up. The idle dialogue includes "ever think of becoming a ranger?", "I'd gladly fight by your side", and "you got my respect". The Veteran Rangers are the most hardcore, badass members of NCR's military who go through Training from Hell to the point that 80% of them wash out during training. These guys practically consider you one of them by reputation alone.
- Another good one with the Rangers: With an Idolized reputation with the NCR, go talk to them wearing NCR Ranger Veteran Armor. Their response? "Looks like we got a Ranger family reunion. Time's right for a feud!" This line has two compliments in one: the first is that they recognize you as a Ranger. Not a civilian contractor, but an honest to god Ranger worthy of wearing that armor (which makes sense since the Rangers are all volunteer forces). The other? They recognize your toughness and would like to duke it out with you just to see it in action! Considering how badassly everyone describes the Rangers, hearing them describe YOU like that is pretty awesome and heartwarming.
- The Kings (especially The King himself) are nice examples. Most gangs in NV have proven to be rather troublesome, but The Kings? All they want to do is keep Freeside safe and stable for Wasteland wanderers, not to mention carrying on the legacy of Elvis himself, even if his name is lost to time. Ending the tension between them and the NCR is just as nice, as the King puts it:
The King: I think it's time for a little more talkin' and a little less fightin'.
- Finishing any of your companion's quests in the best possible way qualifies, but especially so when it comes to Boone because of how tortured he is by his past. He'll even crack a smile when you choose certain dialogue options while accumulating "like" points to trigger his quest, responding with "I wouldn't hold it against you" when you ask if he minds you taking down Legionnaires and "You and me, we're just a couple of problem solvers" when you talk about fighting the Legion being a solution. At the end of the quest, he'll tell you that it means a lot to have someone with your skill watching his back, not to mention his "That was some stunt we pulled" speech if you take down Caesar at The Fort. Overall, you get the impression that The Courier is the first person in a long while that Boone has trusted and considers a friend.
- Raul's quest is just as heartwarming. To put it simply, you help an old man either make peace with his past, or get him to become the hero he once was again. If you opt for the latter, you see at the end he's carried on his quest and has become something of a folk hero who helps those who can't help themselves.
- For an example from cut content since restored via mods, we have Meyers' speech to a group of reformed Powder Gangers if he's chosen as Primm's sheriff.
- Cass' friendship with the Courier. When she's not a companion, her first line of dialogue is to sarcastically joke that you've come to take her back on the road because you missed her, incidentally making her the only companion (except possibly Boone) who inquires if you're looking to head out together without prompting. Furthermore, the note when you sent her back says that she does so, albeit "reluctantly".
- Though that's only if you ask her to head to the Lucky 38, and it's implied she's reluctant to go due to all the robots hanging around there. But the fact that she goes anyway still speaks volumes about her friendship with you.
- All of the companions in general display obvious fond attachment for the Courier after completing their associated quests for upgrading perks, some almost to the extent of Undying Loyalty. It's an especially telling difference to Fallout 3's companions, who join based on morality. Meanwhile, Raul is obviously saddened if he's dismissed to his lonely shack, Veronica yearns for traveling with you even after resolving her quest, and even if you're not Lily's grandchild, she calls you a dearie. In gameplay mechanics, you can always re-recruit a companion, while in Fallout 3, you might've had to fulfill karma requirements.
- On a more Meta, borderline-Fanon note, you can always tell any number of your companions to go to the Lucky 38 instead of their original places once you've unlocked it by entering the Strip. While this mechanic was simply added for convenience's sake (i.e., not having to travel from one half of the Mojave to another to re-recruit a companion for the umpteenth time), the fact that all of the companions willingly stay under one roof has led most New Vegas fanfic writers to paint them as a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who become Fire-Forged Friends over the story. The fact that there aren't any in-game interactions between the companions on account of "only one companion can accompany the Courier at a time rule", and yet so many people portray them as travelling together or fighting side-by-side, is pretty indicative of how all of these companions have forged a mutual soft spot in the Fallout fandom's heart.
- After doing a makeshift detox cure for a mechanic (who will then work to maintain the Freeside water pump), a chemist (who will then make medicine for the Followers of the Apocalypse), outing a scam posing as an elite bodyguard, ease off the tensions between the Kings and the NCR... The Followers offer you a dose of medicine per day, the King guarding the pump allows you to drink from it as much as you like, and every day, a random King will give you a gift (a few caps, some food...). I know I'm armed with an awesome suppressed sniper rifle, clad in an advanced stealth suit, packing enough food and water to last for 2 weeks, medicine for a rainy day, and enough ammo to depopulate a town. I don't need any of these items, but it's nice to see someone acknowledge and reward my good deeds.
- Of all people, you can get several from Mr. House:
"The Courier, fair and kind-hearted to those in the Wasteland, ensured that Mr. House would keep New Vegas stable and secure for future generations. Mr. House afforded him/her every luxury at his disposal in the Lucky 38, out of gratitude—and a quiet sense of pride for his choice in lieutenants."
- Get him to tell you his master plan and you learn that his end-goal is to consolidate his resources to build starships capable of taking humanity away from the irradiated, war-torn planet Earth. He even brings this up in his congratulatory speech once you complete All Or Nothing. In both cases, he sounds so proud and so hopeful for the future. It's a rare glimpse of true idealism from such a calculating, cynical character.
- Read the contract he prints out for you to give to the NCR. He actually invites all non-military NCR citizens to stay in New Vegas and will continue to supply the Republic with power and water from the Dam. Taking the right dialogue paths during the Post-Climax Confrontation with Oliver can have the Courier also promise that House will share technology and safeguard caravans as well. It's almost definitely out of pragmatism, but it's with noting that out of the three main factions, a victorious House treats his vanquished rivals with the gentlest hand.
- He absolutely refuses to be viewed as a god, even sounding a little incensed if you bring it up. House values humanity and wants to be viewed as an exceptional person: nothing more, nothing less.
- He isn't above having people killed, but they're purely for pragmatic reasons. He gets disgusted if you mention that you've killed Benny (you don't have to do it in a Mr. House run), and makes it perfectly clear that he only cares about the chip and chastises you.
- Maintain Good Karma while you work for him and get optimal quest endings during his quest chain and he warms up to you, eventually moving from a cool employer-employee relationship to something that's like a mixture of friendship and paternal warmth. In his congratulatory end-of-game speech, he basically says you're the best helper he's ever had and calls you "nothing short of spectacular." Even that pales to the ending slide if the player has Good Karma and sided with House:
Dead Money DLC
- Through a certain conversation path, you can get God to admit that he really does genuinely cares about Dog's own welfare. Considering who this is coming from, it's pretty touching.
- Not to mention the ending if you manage to combine their two personalities into one, perfectly balanced. While the combined Nightkin doesn't remember you or where he is, he still knows that you helped him.
- The God ending is also touching. He's finally free from Dog and Father Elijah. He assumes control of himself, heals his wounds, and searches for other Nightkins. He even speaks greatly of the Courier (who had to be VERY patient dealing with him).
- Also, God doesn't heal all of his wounds. He keeps the scar of Dog's name on his chest.
- If you're nice to Christine, when she says goodbye before the Gala Opening, she thanks you - silently, of course, but in a way incredibly sincere and heartfelt. It's worth muddling through her silent dialogue before that point just because it's so sweet. You and Christine can hold hands, and promise to return for her.
- Dean Domino is pretty much a dick for most of the game, but if you manage to stay on his good side (mainly by being cooperative), he's genuinely happy to see you in the Tampico, and for the first time, treats you like an equal. Even better, he'll also assist you with fighting Elijah later, meaning he's not just being pragmatic at the theater, but he genuinely respects you.
- "Hey partner! Nice to see a friendly face!"
- The radio broadcast you receive at the end.
Vera Keyes: Wait a moment, before you go. I... we... hope you've enjoyed your stay. Farewells can be a time of sadness. Letting go, difficult. As a guest of the Sierra Madre, you know that truth more than anyone. Frederick Sinclair believed that one's life could be made anew every day. That fortunes were more than the wealth in your hands. Love. Life. Family. Those to care for and those who will care for you. To those who know these joys, the Sierra Madre holds little they don't already have. Out in the world, beyond these walls, that is your chance to begin again. I hope that you will return in happier times. Until then the Sierra Madre, and I, will hold you in our hearts.
Honest Hearts DLC
- While traversing Zion Valley, you can listen to Follows-Chalk and Waking Cloud making remarks on all sorts of things. While Follows-Chalk makes comments on the questions about the Mojave and you (mostly why you carry all those bottlecaps and how they "jangle like crazy"), Waking Cloud is nothing short of endearing.
Waking Cloud: Zion used to be a place of peace, you know. Daniel says it is holy on the eyes of the Father. I hope someday you will see it as it was.Waking Cloud: I know you are eager to leave Zion... but perhaps you might find peace if you stayed... think about it, yes?Waking Cloud: Father, I ask that you guide this man/woman who is the vessel of your will. Show him/her the light of your wisdom and the peace of your love. Amen.Waking Cloud: I wish you could have met my family. You would like them, I think.
- The story of Randall Clark, the Survivalist of Honest Hearts, who goes from a Death Seeker who lost his family to the (perceived) benevolent god of a fledgling tribe in Zion.
- From one possible ending, talking down Joshua Graham from executing Salt-Upon-Wounds, and as a result, helping him redeem his soul.
Joshua Graham: Sometimes I tell myself these wildfires never stop burning, but I'm the one who starts them. Not God. Not them. I can always see it in my mind. The warmth, the heat. It will always be a part of me. But not today.
- From the same decision, in his ending voice-over:
Joshua Graham: Eventually this new spirit would diminish the myth of the Burned Man in distant lands - a small price for the peace it brought to Joshua Graham.
- From the same decision, in his ending voice-over:
- Some of the possible endings reveal that the surviving New Canaanites regrouped somewhere around the Colorado River, and not only fight off the White Legs, but are implied to be rebuilding. One ending even mentions that the New Canaanites send trading expeditions all the way to New Reno just to help out their friends in Happy Trails, whose caravan in Zion was wiped out at the very beginning.
- Speaking of Joshua, an early conversation with him revealing how his Christian faith helps him reconcile himself with his sins is also very touching, especially if you have a religious background.
Joshua Graham: In a world filled with misery and uncertainty, it is a great comfort to know that, in the end, there is Light in the Darkness. Every day we move one step closer to our Lord. We must do our best to follow in His footsteps and teach others how to the same. For many of us, the road is a difficult one but the path is always there for us to follow, no matter how many times we may fall.Courier: Do you ever "fall"?Joshua Graham: Every day. Some days... are harder than others.
- Another moment from talking to Joshua is finding out that despite the fact that he co-founded the incredibly brutal and oppressive slaving empire Caesar's Legion, and was perhaps the most cruel and monstrous of them all, his friends and family in New Canaan still took him in and healed him. It's really quite touching that they welcomed him back without any animosity, whereas anyone else in the wastelands would have most likely left him for dead or worse. It all helps him come to his Heel Realization and rekindling his faith.
Joshua Graham: It was as though the Prodigal son had returned. They welcomed me as though I had never left, never done anything to shame them. The fires that had kept me alive was Love. Their love. God's love. I will never be able to repay the debt that owe to them, but I must try.
- The fact that Joshua still manages to be one of the kindest characters in the game, despite being a brutal Knight Templar.
- When discussing tribes, Joshua admits that even the New Canaanites are just another "tribe". A family of families.
Joshua Graham: The Boneyard, Phoenix, New Vegas... they are all just places. Metal and stone. New Canaan dies, but the tribe lives on. When the walls come tumbling down, when you lose everything you have, you always have family. And your family always has tribe.
Old World Blues DLC
- Some of the things the Stealth Suit MK II says in combat count. It'll give you a stimpack if you're low on health and say, in the most sincere voice possible, "Please take this. I don't want you to die."
- The Stealth Suit MK II declaring you it's best friend forever. This just randomly happens, too. It's there for you no matter what.
- And if you mess up on the Infiltration Test, it assures you that "I won't screw up next time".
- The Stealth Suit MK II declaring you it's best friend forever. This just randomly happens, too. It's there for you no matter what.
- You can help Borous, the most psychopathic member of the Think Tank, regain some of his humanity by making him feel sorrow about what happened to his dog Gabe. It's a Tear Jerker moment, but after that, he will change for the better and start to help nurture life instead of dissect it. He looks so proud of his successes.
- The good ending is full of these from the Courier spending the rest of his/her life helping the people of the Wasteland through scientific advancements to the above example. But perhaps the best is after the credits when all the appliances are cheering for you when you return to the Sink. Even the Toaster.
Ending Narration: "With the Courier at the helm, science became a beacon for the future. There was Old World Blues... and New World Hope. And hope ruled the day at Big Mountain."
- Which turns into a Crowning Moment of Funny when Blind Diode Jefferson keeps cheering for a good thirty seconds after everyone else stops.
- It gets better. As a Cyborg, you can live for hundreds of years, meaning the Courier will see his/her work make the world a better place
Lonesome Road DLC
- ED-E's recording of Whitley sending him on his journey.
- When he lets you hear a recording of him watching Ralphie, you can tell him to keep following you by saying "we've got to fly far and fly fast if we want to get to the end of the Divide". He responds with "determined beeping" accompanied by his battle music.
- ED-E's good ending where he joins the Courier after playing Lonesome Road. ED-E chooses to stay with the Courier because s/he's the closest thing to a father he has left, what with being aware Whitley might be dead due to disobeying Colonel Autumn's order to kill and scrap ED-E and his brothers, or you killed him. You gave a little orphan robot a home! DAAW!
- Ulysses has more than a few of these, particularly during his time with Christine. The player meets Ulysses as a (possibly-insane) ex-Legion demagogue, who intends to bring back the Old World by any means necessary, by and large for the sake of Revenge upon the Courier. However, he fights his way through a small legion of robotic guards to break Christine out of the Auto-Doc that was torturing her, and is implied to have gently nursed her back to health before continuing with his mission to hunt down the Courier.
- He gets another really clear-cut moment with this at the end, when he talks about the Courier. Even after all his bitterness about losing The Divide to the Courier, he says of the player character: