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YMMV: Fallout: New Vegas

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Depending on your political ideology and ethical outlook, you can view all the factions in positive or negative light.
    • Yes Man: Cheery doormat who's just a tool to let anyone with the will take over New Vegas, or a sadistic Starscream who's been setting the player up from the start (though the latter interpretation has since been Jossed)?
    • Mr. House: A well-intentioned benevolent dictator and the best hope for restoring the world to pre-war glory and stability, or a Corrupt Corporate Executive that is totally out of touch with the realities of the wasteland and is only using the people as justification for appointing himself as an autocrat?
    • NCR: A nation that is dedicated to the ideals of democracy, freedom and individual rights, or a power that is on a slippery slope and is destined to repeat the mistakes of the old United States?
    • Joshua Graham: A man seeking a way to make up for past misdeeds by helping the Dead Horses, or just channeling his thirst for blood in a more benevolent direction and thereby corrupting a peaceful people?
      • And opposite him, Daniel. A fool who doesn't understand the need for violence even to defend one's self, or a naive but hopeful pacifist trying to shield the tribals from the harshness of the "civilized" world.
    • Ulysses: A Well-Intentioned Extremist who's hoping to exact sweeping changes in people by destroying the flawed nations and symbols they follow? A vengeful Omnicidal Maniac who just wants to get revenge on all those responsible for destroying the symbols he followed in life? Or is he a Stealth Mentor for the Courier seeking to test his/her character and challenge the symbols that he/she in turn follows? Or perhaps even a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who went off the deep end after the destruction of his adopted home? The fact that you can talk him down at the end of the DLC doesn't help.
    • Most legionaries: brainwashed fanatics who worship Caesar as a God and look back on the destruction of their former tribes as a positive step which uplifted them, or just putting on a "legionary persona" when talking to anyone but their closest friends (if that), out of fear that if they let it slip that they're not completely in accord with the legion outlook, word will get back to Vulpes and they'll end up on a cross?
    • Caesar's Legion in general (and by extension Caesar himself): They torture, they murder, they enslave, and they conquer, but traveling merchants will tell you the lands under Caesar's control enjoy greater stability and security than anywhere outside his influence. So, are they brutal conquerors whose ideals are nothing but an excuse to indulge in sadistic cruelty, or Well-Intentioned Extremists whose harsh methods will unite humanity and create a relatively safer, more ordered world in the long run?
      • Then there's Caesar's brain tumor. Something like that doesn't come about overnight. Who knows how long Caesar's mental processes have been affected by it... and in turn, who's to say he isn't some measure of insane for it, and if he is, how far back does it go? Could Caesar's rise to power be a result of a brain tumor affecting his neurological processes and he isn't in full control of his faculties?
    • Per the creators: The additional Legion locations would have had more traveling non-Legion residents of Legion territories. The Fort and Cottonwood Cove made sense as heavy military outposts where the vast majority of the population consisted of soldiers and slaves. The other locations would have had more "civilians". It's not accurate to think of them as citizens of the Legion (the Legion is purely military), but as non-tribal people who live in areas under Legion control.
    • The Brotherhood of Steel: A bunch of fundamentalist hypocrites with Skewed Priorities that will inevitably be their end, and whose destruction is better for the Mojave in general than their continued existence (made worse by the fact that, without an NCR ending in which a truce is formed between them, they will harass travelers if they're left alive), or a group of Well-Intentioned Extremists whose ideology is perfectly rational considering that the last time humanity had such widespread access to technology, it ended in atomic war?
    • The Great Khans: A clan of woobies who have well-justified grievances against the NCR and as such are morally in the right, or just a group of bandits hiding behind flimsy justification to excuse their raider tendencies?
  • Anvilicious:
    • If you have the Confirmed Bachelor perk, you can chat up an NCR Major at Mojave Outpost, who will say that he would want to be your "friend", but the mood around the outpost is too conservative for him to want to deal with everyone he works with knowing. This comes across as a snipe at Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which becomes Hilarious in Hindsight following the repeal of DADT.
    • Dead Money takes the Aesop on why greed is bad Up to Eleven. Naming the Casino Sierra Madre makes it really obvious to anyone who has seen the film.
      • Though it's possible to actually beat the house, as it were, and turn this into a Broken Aesop.
    • "Flags of Our Foul-Ups" has four possible outcomes, not including faction variations or simply killing them, three of which make fairly reasonable sense. However, completing the quest by introducing "a little human kindness" SOMEHOW turns the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits into a highly successful, NCR record-breaking squad overnight, without any other changes. Considering it shares the same outcome as actually making them competent through training, it reeks of Hard Work Hardly Works, and that, jarringly for Fallout's Crapsack World, kindness overcomes all.
  • Anticlimax Boss: The Fiend leaders are at least several times more powerful and durable than the generic mooks, but still fall under this.
    • Benny, if you opt to fight him in the arena, will tell you beforehand of his knife-fighting prowess from his tribal days. Depending on your level and skill, Benny is a pushover or, at worst, a mild inconvenience. He is in no way a serious threat. Some knife-fighter you turned out to be, Benny.
    • Legate Lanius, if you're prepared, can become this, as his death is an Instant-Win Condition. Most notably, the YCS/186 can easily destroy him with one sneak critical headshot with the right build.
    • General Oliver is almost a Zero-Effort Boss if you have the Securitrons, since your own side's weapons are a greater danger to you than he is. Even if you're fighting against him for the Legion, his Elite Mooks are far more of a threat than he is.
    • Father Elijah from the Dead Money add on is actually pretty easy to kill. His turrets are pretty strong, but its possible if you have 50 unarmed to just smash the generator, making those turrets useless, which will cause him to charge you himself, and that's hardly the only way to stop the turrets. He may be packing a Gauss rifle, but Elijah himself is only wearing a Brotherhood robe and is therefore a huge Glass Cannon, so killing him isn't very hard. The Final Boss was likely this way to make up for the rest of Dead Money.
      • Made even easier if you reprogram the turrets and turn them against Elijah instead, then just sit back and let them do all the work.
    • Salt-Upon-Wounds, the White Legs warchief and 'Final Boss' of Honest Hearts, especially if you sided with Joshua Graham and used his idea of simply crushing the White Legs. Josh will hold him at gunpoint, then Salt-Upon-Wounds will drop to his knees and start begging for mercy. If you don't intervene, Josh just kills him right there. To actually fight him, you tell Joshua that he should be able to die on his feet, with honor, whereupon he attacks you. While his stats are objectively pretty good (he has high combat skills, a unique power fist, a few mooks backing him, and can have anywhere from 600-700 hitpoints) this hardly matters since Josh is on your side. You can literally just sit there and do nothing while Josh kills him and all his mooks. Chances are they won't even manage to knock him down. In fact, the only way to not make this an anti-climax boss is to consider speech checks a boss fight, since you need very high speech to convince Josh to spare the warchief for the good ending.
    • The Think Tank in Old World Blues, if you opt not to befriend them and talk them down, are pretty big pushovers. There are only five of them, and their health and weaponry are equal or inferior to all the things you've been facing as semi-regular enemies the whole DLC.
      • Assuming, that is, that one does the DLC at the recommended level or higher: Klein is the only one of the Think Tanknote  that scales with level, which all semi-regular and regular enemies also do. In other words, they keep pace no matter the level (indeed, they can even get worse), while 4/5 of the Think Tank becomes less and less of a threat the higher the Courier's level.
      • Klein also makes it clear that without the pacification field there's not much to stop you from easily killing them all. They're scientists, not fighters after all (even with whatever weapons they have).
    • As in all previous installments, all 'final bosses' (save for Father Elijah mentioned above, though he can be tricked) can be persuaded to abandon their cause.
    • The Vault 34 Overseer has a lot of health, but doesn't actually attack unless the player gets close, instead letting two turrets do the fighting. A sufficiently powerful ranged weapon can take the Overseer out without him fighting back.
    • Ulysses at the end of Lonesome Road. The developers lacked the foresight that you enter his chamber with him a distance away from you facing away from you, making him fodder for a sneak attack from a sniper character. Toss in the DLC being gracious with chems to boost damage and weapons like the anti-material rifle and brush gun that snipers love, and this four-DLC Myth Arc can be brought to a close with one well-placed bullet he never sees coming.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The revelation in Dead Money that Matter Replicators were "a common pre-War convenience" created all kinds of Fridge Logic, seeing as how the Great War was fought over resource scarcity, broken replicators have never been scavenged from ruins, no replicators are found in the possession of the Brotherhood or the Enclave, etc. So when Old World Blues came out, it was "revealed" that the replicators were an experimental technology developed at Big MT and the characters who told you how common they were were either wrong or lying.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • Mr House. If you were orphaned as a kid and left with nothing by your swindler half-brother, then went on to found one of the most successful companies of the pre-War era at age 22 and ended up being a billionaire several times over by age 30...well, you're well in your right to be an arrogant Jerkass. And that's not getting into what he did about the war itself, or what he does during the game.
    • Caesar as well: regardless of your actual opinion of him, the man managed to rise from being a lowly missionary of the most pacifistic and put upon faction in the game, to taking over a tribe, to taking over a series of tribes, forcibly erasing their history and uniting them and any others underneath a single banner, carving out a feared empire that holds complete dominion over a sizable chunk of the country, and setting himself up as some kind of deified god-king. By the time you meet him, the man has clearly let this power go to his head, but the respect is not altogether unwarranted.
  • Broken Base:
    • Not only the regular old versus new shtick, but also hardcore mode versus standard mode is emerging.
    • Dead Money has also been causing a debate. Both parties agree that the voice acting is amazing and it's much harder than any other sections of the game, but that's all they agree about. Either it is a brilliant, atmospheric, fun, strategic, Survival Horror adventure, or a frustrating, ugly looking, linear path filled with Trial-and-Error Gameplay, Fake Difficulty, and Demonic Spider enemies (the Ghost Trappers and speakers in particular get a lot of hate).
  • Cargo Ship:
    • The Boomers. They really like guns, and bombs, and cannons... or anything else that uses gunpowder at all.
    • Can't forget that one of the customers in Atomic Wrangler is asking to have sex with a robot.
    • Oddly, the Stealth Suit and the Light Switches in Old World Blues appear to have crushes on the Courier. Hell, the switches even act like catfighting girlfriends.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Vulpes Inculta, leader of the Legion's Frumentarii spy network. He engages in shady tactics that even Legate Lanius considers highly dishonorable. At one time when the Courier meets him, he razed Nipton to the ground, enslaving, executing and crucifying most of the inhabitants while coldly imploring the Courier to examine it in detail before informing the NCR of his presence. He also coordinated a dirty bomb attack on Camp Searchlight, leaving it desolate and turning many of the surviving inhabitants into feral ghouls, and he was secretly arranging with the Omerta bosses to chlorine bomb New Vegas.
    • Cook-Cook. The Fiends themselves are always chaotic psychos who torture people for fun, but Cook-Cook is so bad that he is barely tolerated even by the other Fiends. He alternates between burning people alive and raping them, such as he did with Corporal Betsy and Pretty Sarah, the latter of whom he disfigured via burning. Two Westsider slavers, who only stopped raping their slaves because it lowered their value, were disgusted when Cook-Cook didn't even wait for them to turn around before enjoying a family he bought from them, starting with their son. One time, he bought some teenage slaves, 3 girls and a boy. The boy was burned alive and the girls made to watch. He's also implied to be a cannibal.
    • Big Sal and Nero, the Omerta family bosses. The only rule the Omertas have is "don't go against the family", which is punishable by death, but rather than emphasize loyalty, it is instead intended to keep others from standing in the way of the bosses' plans. Such plans involve secretly working for Caesar's Legion to massacre the entire population in New Vegas as soon as the battle at Hoover Dam begins, with a promise that they'll have control over the city. They are selling out the Mojave to the Legion not because they agree with Caesar's ideals, but they lust for power and loathe Mr. House for what they perceive to be his lording over them. They also get their prostitutes addicted to drugs to force them to be dependent upon their bosses, framed a man for murder to blackmail him into working for them, and give their hookers to Clanden to be raped, tortured and killed.
    • Clanden, an operative working with the Omertas. At first he seems like a perfectly normal, friendly man, but investigation reveals him to be a Serial Killer who makes snuff films of himself raping and torturing women to death. In exchange for a constant supply of hookers to kill, he makes chlorine bombs for the Omertas to use in their attack on New Vegas. If the player blackmails him into leaving New Vegas he’ll be okay with it, saying he can always “find more girls to play with” elsewhere.
    • Father Elijah, former elder of the Mojave Brotherhood of Steel and antagonist of Dead Money. His obsession with old world technology led to him getting his people slaughtered at the battle for HELIOS. After fleeing the battle, he sought out the fabled Sierra Madre Casino, a treasure-trove of lost technology which he wanted to use to "wipe the slate clean." In order to obtain the casino's treasures, he kidnapped dozens of people, attached slave collars to their necks, and blew their heads off unless they acted as cannon fodder for the Sierra Madre’s defenses. Once the Player Character reaches the Sierra Madre, Elijah orders him/her to kill off the allies that had helped them, and later tries to kill the Courier him/herself for outliving their usefulness. Elijah’s ultimate goal is to use the Sierra Madre’s technology to kill off every person in the Mojave, and then build a new nation where every person will be collared and forced to obey him.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Lily, a schizophrenic Nightkin grandma wielding a weaponized vertibird propeller, and, apparently, Tabitha and Rhonda, if their post-game narration is any clue.
    • There's nothing stopping the player from roaming around in a pretty floral bonnet and a set of spiked football pads beating the crap out of people with a golf club.
    • The Think Tank. Each one of them is a Mad Scientist Brain in a Jar with serious mental issues. However, their inventions are nothing short of spectacular.
    • The Courier with the Wild Wasteland Perk. You have to seriously wonder if your companions are even seeing the same things that you are, wondering why their boss just referred to a street gang as a bunch of "violent old ladies", some mercenaries as "aliens" or picked a fight with a dog they believed was a "Mini-Deathclaw?"
  • Creator's Pet: A not insignificant number of people don't like Lonesome Road in general and Ulysses in particular: he's largely extraneous to the plot of two of the DL Cs (and is after-the-fact in the third) yet is tossed in anyway, is the personification of Chris Avellone's want to nuke everything again (Lonesome Road is this in general) which was thankfully thwarted by Josh Sawyer, and is shilled by several other characters even in the main game.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Vulpes Inculta. Probably the main reason he has a large fanbase.
    • Ulysses as well.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • What might as well be the main theme of the game, Blue Moon.
    • The Credits Theme.
    • It's just not Vegas without a little Rat Pack.
    • And on the Country side, "Big Iron" is utterly badass.
    • Whenever you hear the track Serenity, it always has an exceptionally calming effect.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Can suffer from this. Mr. House is very efficient and competent, but only cares about Vegas and it's unclear whether he can implement his plans for the city. Caesar's Legion are very effective at bringing order and safety to the untamed wastelands, but their kind of order is brutal, unforgiving, technophobic and misogynistic. The NCR means well, but its bureaucracy and military overexertion mean it couldn't effectively govern or protect the Mojave. You could go Wild Card, but can you forge a Vegas that's any better than what was there before?
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Cazadores. They're as tough as nails, have a very potent poison, and travel in packs as large as eight at some times. They also move too quickly to get a decent shot off outside of VATS, and it's almost impossible to headshot them in VATS mode due to a minor glitch which makes their head impossible to click at times. The icing on the cake, however, has to be their poison. Pre-patch, it killed companions basically on contact thanks to a bug that made it never wear off. They fixed that, but in doing so actually made Cazador poison even more potent than it already was. It wears off, but it takes such a long time that you have to dope your companions with nearly a dozen stimpacks if they've taken more than one sting. If that weren't enough, Honest Hearts gives us Giant Cazadores, and those bastards come right out of nowhere if your eyes aren't glued to the compass.
    • What's even worse than giant radscorpions? Robo scorpions of course. They can shoot laser from their tails, ridiculously tough for their size, somewhat resistant to EMP weapons, and when you finally destroy it, it blows up in your face.
    • Deathclaws actually got worse since the previous game. They're just as fast, but now they're stronger, tougher, and crippling them is that much harder without the Dart Gun. They're like velociraptors on steroids. Then there's the variants in Quarry Junction, which are even more deadly, featuring twice the health and a stronger attack. Worse still are the boss variants, the Alphas and Mothers, who are about twice as strong as the regular ones. Topped off by the Legendary Deathclaw, which will almost certainly one-shot you on any level and have as much health as Lanius.
    • Nightkin, which are Super Mutant ninja with Stealth Boys that make them near-invisible. Sure, they may shimmer like water, but just try and spot that when they're moving at any speed faster than a walk. These guys hide behind rocks until you're mere meters away, and they do not decloak until they're literally two feet away in mid-swing. On top of that, they are deceptively fast, recloak almost instantly, and can send you flying (no joke here). Even if you have ED-E, who negates a fair portion of their advantages, they will still catch a non-VATS user by surprise.
    • With the reintroduction of damage threshold (DT), the Super Mutants are much harder to kill while they use heavier weapons against you.
    • Legion Assassins and NCR Ranger hit squads if you have no followers with you, otherwise they're closer to Goddamned Bats. They spawn in dozens of locations near fast travel points on the main road, appear in groups of four, chase you relentlessly until they catch you, then declare you are a criminal and kill you where you stand before you have a chance to react. Unless you get the opening shot, only a high-level, well-armored player is going to live through their assault. Plus, they target NPCs from hostile factions as well, which means that a pack of Legion Assassins can and will cut down quest-essential NCR characters and merchants if you lead them into the wrong areas.
    • Hmmm...the Ratslayer? Located in an easy to find cave, no enemies except... Giant Rats? They sound like easy pickings...
      • Even worse if you take the Wild Wasteland trait, where the rats in the cave have been replaced with bigger, stronger rodents of unusual size.
    • Speakers and radios in Dead Money. Imagine there are these small devices hidden all around the environment. Imagine that if you stay in their field of range for more than about ten seconds, you die instantly. Imagine most of the speakers are indestructible, and the ones that aren't are hard to find due to (usually) being hidden just out of sight and in the dark. Imagine the radios being ham radios, which you will instinctively ignore, or brown Sierra Madre radios, which blend with the background. Now add on to the fact that in addition to making sure your head doesn't explode, you have to worry about the poisonous gas that's usually paired with this obstacle. I hope you studied the locations of the radios and speakers in advance, or you will spend most of the DLC searching for them.
    • The Yao Guais are back in Honest Hearts. In Fallout 3 they were tough, but not Deathclaw tough. Honest Hearts will teach you to fear them.
    • Lonesome Road also gives us Deathclaws. But wait! These aren't Mojave Deathclaws. LR Deathclaws level with the player, making them even more dangerous (though not quite as durable) as the Legendary Deathclaw at the highest levels. They're also directly in your path to the end point of the DLC. Oh, and at certain points, the game just spawns them out of nowhere to make your life hell. In one particular instance, walking into an abandoned RV, which you will certainly do because it is a force of habit, causes one to spawn right on top of the RV. Guess the first thing that Deathclaw decides to do. At least Tunnelers can be attacked head-on with reasonable success. You are not bringing down an LR Deathclaw at anything but range.
    • Even at lower levels, the common Jackals and Vipers can still spawn with grenade rifles, which can kill you way before you're inside any of your weapons' effective ranges. Even worse in Hardcore mode, as you typically will have to run all the way back to Goodsprings to get 4 of your crippled limbs healed.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Vulpes Inculta, of all people, has this status among fangirls. Despite ransacking Nipton and butchering its inhabitants, having a very blaise attitude about all the blood that he's shed, and speaking in a Creepy Monotone, fangirls still find Inculta attractive for some reason.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Many agree that Yes Man, the constantly smiling Securitron, is by far one of the coolest characters in the game, if only for the fact that he opens up the questline to diverge from the standard endings. Being hilariously passive aggressive and being the only NPC totally incapable of dying are other factors.
    • Veronica has gained surprising popularity.
    • Rose of Sharon Cassidy is also well liked, with IGN calling her "well written".
    • Also, Boone, a man who will likely snipe the heads off of most enemies you make before you even realize you've made them.
    • Raul as well, mainly for being voiced by Danny Trejo.
    • The King is very popular, and some even want an ending where he can be crowned the ruler of New Vegas.
    • Fisto seems to have a very high interest-to-plot-relevance ratio, probably because his related quest is both icky and hilarious.
    • Joshua Graham has also become very popular among the fans.
    • Also, Lily. It helps that she's wielding a helicopter blade in melee and occasionally goes berserk and babbles incoherently.
    • No-Bark Noonan and Fantastic are two highly hilarious side-characters, the former being a raving madman who knows more than he lets on, the latter being a man who knows far less than he lets on. "I know exactly what I'm doing! I just don't know what effect it'll have!"
    • Sunny Smiles also seems to be quite popular, as she has inspired quite a few mods that allow you to recruit her as a companion... With and without her loyal Canine Companion, Cheyenne.
    • The Enclave Remnants are so popular that they singlehandedly rehabilitated the Enclave's image among wide swathes of the fandom.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Uh, better hope the courier did something about those Tunnelers making their way from the Divide to the Mojave, or otherwise they'll end up with this no matter what faction they chose.
  • Even Better Sequel: With several of the first two games' designers working on New Vegas, the part of the fandom that disliked Fallout 3 thinks this is a major improvement. The part of the fandom that liked Fallout 3 also thinks this is a major improvement.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: One quest for the Followers of the Apocalypse has this in spades. You learn of a water shortage problem with an NCR farm. Following the trail, you come upon Westside's local FOA missionary, who helps with their crops. It doesn't take much to reveal that he murdered the first NCR officer to investigate the cause, and he'll try to do you in if you threaten to reveal what he's doing. Furthermore, if you manage to get him to turn himself in/extort him for your silence, Arcade will take issue with this and you'll earn negative reputation among them. In other words, the only way this quest ends positively is if you not only let him get away with murder, but help him steal more water, dooming the NCR farmers in the process or get him to turn himself in for something else while keeping the secret.
  • Fanon:
    • The idea that Yes Man is a closet Starscream has become thoroughly entrenched in the fandom due to a single ambiguous line at the end of the game. EventuallyJossed by J.E. Sawyer in one of his Formspring posts.
    • Though there's nothing in-game to confirm it, the fandom generally accepts that the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle is the rifle Boone used to kill his wife, and that the Sniper's Nest where you find it is where he shot her from. (Although a note in Camp Mc Carran josses this.)
  • Game Breaking Bugs:
    • Getting locked out of The Strip. Virtually all of the main plot missions take place there, and most of the action as well. Fortunately, it's easily fixed by hitting ~ to go to console, entering 'unlock' and clicking on the gate. You can also take the monorail at Camp McCarran; worst case scenario, you'll need to don an NCR disguise first. Finally, you can just snipe one of the Securitrons guarding the entrance and loot the key if you manage to be unseen.
    • In some circumstances, the lockpick screen becomes completely blank, which makes lockpicking somewhat harder than it's supposed to be.
    • Cazador poison will not wear off companions. Or rather, it will wear off companions eventually, but unless their health is full it's a moot point because the poison lasts so long. Attempting to use a Stimpak on them will kill them, since using a Stimpak on a poisoned companion will "cure" the poison by dealing the full amount of damage at once before applying the Stimpak's healing. If they got stung more than once, it's just your choice whether to kill them now or later. Sometimes they'll heal themselves, but it's generally better to have them wait before heading someplace with Cazadores.
    • Vault 11 has a bugged turret in the final room which is aligned to the Lucky 38, and by destroying it you fail Mr. House's quests automatically and turn all the Securitrons hostile. So if you did more exploration than plot chasing before coming to New Vegas, you probably won't be able to join his faction at all. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to happen often with the latest patch, so you can probably get away with it.
    • If you have ED-E with you when you start Dead Money in the 360 version, he becomes hostile upon returning to the Mojave.
    • If you enter Dead Money while suffering from withdrawal, the debuffs sometimes become permanent.
    • Vendors never restocking. This is only fixable by starting a new file, and might not become immediately evident until several hours into the game.
    • One bug that is annoying enough to make one want to restore an earlier state involves Boone talking to you without prompt after re-recruiting him in the Lucky 38. Along as he's with you this makes any movement or gameplay impossible thanks to him interrupting you with an infinite loop of "What is it?"
    • Some merchants sell multiple copies of a single Caravan playing card. Buying more than one copy at once will make the game freeze.
  • Gameplay Derailment: Subverted in Dead Money.
    • Several of the general meta game "dump" stats are obviously important for both stat checks and because you can't use items or companions to try to replace the function of those stats.
    • You lose all of your equipment for the duration of Dead Money. The weapons of choice are mainly an energy weapon with limited ammo, an automatic weapon that requires higher than average strength and explosives. All weapons often ignored by meta gamers. This was fixed after a patch.
    • Sneaking around requires a high amount of the skill and proficiency in actually sneaking around (walking quietly, not walking into direct line of sight, turning off your light, etc). You can't hoard stealth boys and walk straight past everything.
    • Your funds, ammo, and consumable items are limited. You can't run off to farm caps. You have to make do with what you have.
    • Reading messages and postings on terminals gives a lot of major clues about the easiest method to get past obstacles. You can't just keep following the arrow, shooting everything in your path.
    • Your choices matter far more than in the main game. Elijah will kill you if you mouth off to him even a little, and whether or not Dean and Christine betray you is determined by your choices throughout your time with them, not simply during your final dealings with them as you may be used to.
    • Companions aren't expendable. If they die, you die due to linked bomb collars. Their contribution in battle is also important due to your limited ammo.
    • Subverted by some of the perks introduced in new DLC which carry over into Dead Money once obtained. Implant GRX has been mentioned above, but Mad Bomber takes the cake, allowing you to turn unwanted energy/gun ammo and easily scavenged parts into makeshift (and disproportionately powerful) bombs. This perk, ideally coupled with some explosive skill/perk placement, can turn an otherwise tense and difficult DLC into a hilarious curbstomp with Stuff Blowing Up. The Auto-Stimpacks from Lonesome Road also helps significantly and are made out stims you can buy from the Madre Vending Machines and sensor modules (which are everywhere).
  • Goddamn Bats: Geckos, coyotes, rats, giant mantises, nightstalkers, small radscorpions/bark scorpions (thanks to their venom, larger radscorpions are Demonic Spiders), etc. Also, Cazadors at higher difficulties. They can't do much damage to a hulking player character wrapped in power armor and carrying a plasma caster, but they move around lightning fast, close in on you in seconds, are almost impossible to hit outside of V.A.T.S., have a bug that prevents from targeting their heads ''in'' V.A.T.S, come in groups, and poison you, forcing you to waste Antivenom and stimpaks.
    • Tunnelers from the Lonesome Road DLC. They have incredible strength, attack in packs, can crawl on the walls and ceilings, can pop out of the ground beneath you, and take a lot of punishment. If you get surrounded, you're screwed. Even by using their weakness of the flaregun, they only panic for a short while and run away from you, forcing you to chase them so you can use the small window of opportunity to kill them. Oh, and they're found in small cramped tunnels with minimal running room.
  • Good Bad Bugs: While attempting to kill or disable Mr. House in one quest, all the Securitrons in his penthouse will just stand there rather than attacking you. Considering that they may have all been upgraded to their Mark II OS, and are now armed with rocket and grenade launchers, this is extraordinarily helpful.
    • This doesn't appear to be the case after the first couple patches. The Securitrons will attack the player but will not use the grenades or rockets while inside the Penthouse. Maybe House just doesn't want his place totally trashed.
    • One developer revealed that Boone's utter lethality was actually out of proportion compared to how he should have been (with a guns skill going straight over 117% at level five).
    • ED-E's laser weapon may randomly change to an Alien Blaster.
    • It's actually possible to gain infinite XP by killing Big Sal and repeatedly shooting his corpse.
    • Before patch, various kitchens and ovens had shaped human flesh inside them due to a mixup by area designers, suggesting that said inhabitants were cannibals. This has since been fixed.
    • Unarmed weapons tend to have a habit of turning invisible, which may make it irritating when trying to figure out what weapon you're using, but the fact that your bare fists can launch people into the skybox as if you're Goku makes it amusing, nonetheless.
    • Is the doctor at the Followers Safehouse? If so, then loot the fridges continuously for infinite food.
    • While under the effects of Turbo, certain fully automatic weapons will expend their magazine and then some when used in VATS, especially during bad framerate.
    • The Holorifle and the Anti-Materiel Rifle can be repaired past their max conditions using weapon repair kits, thus increasing their condition and value to completely insane amounts.
    • Once you've completed the "That Lucky Old Sun" quest after setting the power to "full region", keep telling it to Ignacio for infinite XP, stimpaks and Doctor's Bag. Just make sure you have at least one companion to help you carry those bags!
    • Do your non-magazine guns annoy you by needing every bullet to be individually loaded? Does it upset you that the computers can reload these types of weapons in under a second? Well now you can too! Just carry a different type of ammunition, switch to it when you run dry and switch back instantly. That single bullet you loaded actually contained an entire magazine's worth of bullets, which all teleported to their proper positions immediately.
    • The Autodoc in The Sink can wreak some real havoc by swapping out Traits. It only works once, but that's all you need. Swap out Skilled to keep the free skill points but lose the XP debuff, or just select it again for another free +5 to everything (you can also do this while leaving Goodsprings, granting a staggering 195 free skill points, 15% of those available in the entire game, or a 130 (10%) without a drawback). Take Logan's Loophole, then swap it out around level 29 (the drawback doesn't apply until level 30).
    • You can get infinite money by getting 32,678 chips, dropping them, and them cashing them in again and again.
    • As for those that don't affect gameplay, a programming error makes "Big Iron" play twice as often on Radio New Vegas as other songs.
    • The Hotkey Ammo Glitch. Find a type of ammo you'd like to use and equip a weapon that uses that type of ammo. After equipping the weapon hold down the button to hotkey an item, move left, highlight the ammo you'd like and hotkey it like normal, release the hotkey button then go equip a different weapon. After backing out of the Pip-Boy menu hit whatever button you've hotkeyed the ammo too and miraculously you can use that ammo despite not having the right weapon equipped. This works for any type of ammo on any type of weapon. Have fun with a flare gun that shoots incendiary grenades, or using the Laser Detonator to fire an endless, rapid stream of mini-nukes, or giving boxing gloves the same attack power as a mini-nuke (only without explosions)! Even better, you can use coinshot with weapons like the MF Hyperbreeder to shoot an endless stream of money. Or use 4/0 buckshot ammo with C4 causing FOUR explosives to appear where you threw one essentially giving you an endless source of very, VERY easy money when you sell them so long as you have at least ONE C4.
    • On one quest, the player is tasked with tracking down a serial killer who has been targeting refugees; You get positive karma for persuading him to stop killing without violence; However, the murderer is (rightfully) at Very Evil Karma, which isn't changed if you convince him to stop; Therefore, you can get good karma for getting him to stop killing nonviolently, then another shot of good karma if you choose to shoot him in the back as he's walking away.
    • The fully functional Missing laser pistol that you are tasked with retrieving for a couple of Brotherhood of Steel students is classed as a key item meaning that literally nothing and nobody in the entire game can remove it from your inventory until you voluntarily give it back to complete the quest. It can even be taken into Dead Money although Elijah will still steal any of the ammo you brought with it but that's not a problem if you know where to look.
    • If you kill the Enclave Remnants after completing "For Auld Lang Syne" (which requires a few bricks of C4 and a Detonator, as the door needed to reach them permanently locks upon completion of the quest), the game will still act as though they're still alive during the Battle of Hoover Dam, resulting in a hilarious scene where their bodies are airdropped out of a Vertibird right in the middle of The War Sequence when they're supposed to show up and assist the player.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Arizona Killer is the quest in which the player character assassinates President Kimball, of the NCR. Consider the events in Tuscon, Arizona in January of 2011. .
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One response you can give is "I was a courier. Then I took a bullet to the head." Note that this came out before The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • Ho Yay:
    • There's a panel in All Roads that has a quite a bit of subtext.
    • Aside from that, you can actually play a gay/bi character, with the option to have G-Rated Sex.
      • This is actually enforced by the Confirmed Bachelor/Cherchez La Femme which is just like the Lady Killer/Black Widow perk which is also available... Except that it is effective against people of the same sex rather than the opposite one. Considering how valuable the female counterpart was to the male one in the third game, this can be considered a blessing since males are far more commonly encountered as enemies in the wastes than females.
      • It could even be regarded as Getting Crap Past the Radar, as this is perhaps the first RPG to confer a measurable benefit to being a male homosexual.
    • Manny Vargas; he sounds downright jealous of Boone's wife, not just disdainful of her like the others.
    • A female with Black Widow can't get relevant quest information out of him, while a male with Confirmed Bachelor can.
    • Arcade Gannon's gay and can be recruited with a bit of flirting from a male Player Character. He claims he's never gotten a guy due to considering himself a boring man. Totally not because he's related to the Enclave.
    • There are eight possible companions in the game. Four don't express much interest in the Courier, being a ghoul, a cyber-dog, an Eyebot, and a grandmotherly Super Mutant. Of the rest, Veronica is a lesbian, Arcade is gay, Cass admits to experimenting when drunk, and Boone has a hard-on for killing Legionnaires.
    • Use Confirmed Bachelor to ask Major Knight at the Mojave Outpost whether he wants to be "friends".
    • If you play a woman and travel with Cass this can happen.
    • Though not really with Veronica (there's some flirtatious remarks but that seems to be her personality more than anything) despite her canonically being a lesbian (ask her about "love"). The female PC just doesn't seem to be her type. Lots of players actually want to romance Veronica so this kind of causes some problems.
    • You can do this with Dr. Dala in Old World Blues, too.
  • Magnificent Bastard: You can very well be one if you go for the Wild Card ending. You manipulate and use the two major powers in the Mojave so you can come to power and oust them from the region, by which point the other major factions in the Mojave are either dead or have sided with you. By the end of the game, through a combination of guilt and violence, you've gone from a humble package courier to the ruler of one of the most powerful civilizations in the world.
    • Mr. House. Just ask the NCR. Instead of letting New Vegas be annexed by the republic, he has been exploiting them both economically and politically for his own gain.
    • It was Yes Man rather than Benny who masterminded the Courier's ambush outside Goodsprings, and despite the Courier's position as head of an independent Vegas at the climax of the Wild Card ending he/she is still dependent on Yes Man's control of the securitrons and the power plant.
  • Memetic Badass: Boone, a thousand times over. People have even begun referring to awesome things in other video games as "Boone-tier."
    • Joshua Graham in-universe. Just to hammer home the point, 1st Recon has had several "confirmed kills" against him, and after failing Caesar at Hoover Dam, he was covered in pitch, set alight and thrown into the Grand Canyon. Caesar's slaves seem to revere him as some sort of heroic figure and even Caesar himself has spies patrolling Utah looking for him, suggesting his reputation as an unkillable Badass might not be too inaccurate.
      • He shows up eventually in one of the DLCs. He really is incredibly tough, with a damage threshold of 50. This basically means any weapon not called the rocket launcher, anti-material rifle, YCS-186, Holorifle, Fatman, or Alien Blaster will only do Scratch Damage.
      Joshua Graham: *Death Glare* "Make the first shot count. You won't get a second."
      • Every Veteran Ranger (See the cover) is a Memetic Badass to the NCR Troops.
      Random Trooper: They're sending the veteran rangers from Baja. I hear they chew nails and spit out napalm.
  • Memetic Molester: Veronica has become this due to the Power-Fist pun.
    • FISTO reporting for duty. Please assume the position.
  • Memetic Mutation: Patrolling the Mojave almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter.
    • Nobody's dick is that long. Not even Long Dick Johnson.
  • Moe: Veronica Renata Santangelo. Bonus points for being voiced by Felicia Day.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • While horrific, most of the Legion's early actions seem to follow a guideline of the ends justify the means or are designed to punish wastelanders fo their depravity. However a slave at the fort reveals that they endorse rape, sometimes even targeting children and old women. She'll even warn the female player character that some of the soldiers are planning on raping you. Combined with Centurion Aurelius's cannibalism and chilling holotape message where they brag about raping one of the soldiers in Ranger Station Charlie, this pushes many players from seeing them as extremely dark well meaning extremists into complete monsters and hypocrites.
    • It's hard to say where exactly Elijah crossed it- was it when he got hundreds of people killed over his own pride? Was it when he brutally tortured and scarred Christine? Was it when he enslaved a mentally handicapped Nightkin? Or was it when he kidnapped and murdered dozens of people in an attempt to access the Sierra Madre? The answer is none of the above. It was when he plotted the mass murder of everyone in the Mojave Wasteland using the Cloud, and got damn close to accomplishing this. In fact, he WILL accomplish it if you side with him at the climax of Dead Money, though this results in a Non-Standard Game Over.
    • Vulpes Inculta manages to cross this the very first time you meet him. If not, he's getting damn close to it, though, and when you learn about what he did against the NCR camp at Searchlight and his plans of massacring the civilians at New Vegas, then he's definitely crossed it.
    • You can probably cross one of the largest in all the Fallout Games. In Lonesome Road, you can chose to launch ICBMs at either one particular or all the factions vying for power in the Mojave.
    • Caesar passes this in Honest Hearts when he orders the destruction of New Canaan to get back at Joshua Graham. While previous Legion targets at least had some military significance or were at least morally questionable, New Canaan had never fought the Legion and was actively trying to improve the Wasteland, while Casear destroyed purely for personal revenge on one man.
    • When Lanius passed this is somewhat debatable due to his multiple choice backstory. If what Caesar claims is true it was when he demanded the surviving males of his tribe be exterminated in exchange for his admission into the Legion. However, he definitely passes it when he threatens to rape a female Courier.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Dead Money's incessantly beeping collars.
    • The ringing noise at the Police Station in Dead Money when recruiting Dog.
      • Likewise, the warning klaxon that plays if you trigger the self-destruct mechanism for the Brotherhood of Steel's bunker. Especially since, if you didn't shoot your way in, you'll be fighting your way out for quite a while, and it WILL NOT STOP until you've left.
    • Every single Legion member in a ten mile radius screaming "Retribution!" when you attack one of their soldiers.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: When you're all alone in the Big MT, it's quite comforting to listen to the Stealth Suit and to know someone's got your back.
    • The drums that play whenever you level up.
    • The Mysterious Magnum. Just draw it, shoot someone, and then holster it.
    • Ed-E's triumphant theme music that plays whenever he opens fire on an enemy. brutally turned around at the end of Lonesome Road where a slower version of the theme plays as he sacrifices himself to prevent the missiles from firing and killing hundreds.
  • My Real Daddy: How most of the old-school fans feel about this game — compared to Fallout 3 it acts more as an actual sequel to Fallout 2. Now, if New Vegas is actually better than 3 on its own merits, best not to get into it.
  • Narm Charm : Benny always comes off as weirdly emotionally bland.
    Benny: (while being crucified) "HAPPY now, you twisted bum??"
    • This seems to be a reflection of everyone who works at the Tops, which takes Camp and Narm Charm and turns it into an art form. There's the tap dancing show, for one. Talk to one of the clerks there, and they will ask you how they can make your stay "the Tops." with a straight face. Benny's second in command also seems as emotionally bland as Benny is, even after his Klingon Promotion. The Tops, and it's employees all seem to be trying hard to embody the Camp of the days of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
    • The ending narration for Dead Money is either sad or touching depending upon your actions, and very effective at conveying emotions. That being said, hearing everyone chant "It's letting go" at the end is more funny than poignant.
  • Nausea Fuel: Try to fight cazadors in first person view, you will see nasty and scary giant wasps attacking you in fast speed, even if you aren´t afraid of bugs you won't forget them.
    • One of the clients for the Atomic Wrangler wants a male ghoul Cowboy dominatrix. And indeed you can find a ghoul meeting all of the requirements except that she's female. The client you hire her fire expresses sadness that it wasn't a he, but that you can't get everything you want. You can also use her services.
    • The "Bill of Sale" you find in Boone's companion quest, because it is sickingly official and specific. The line "Payment of an additional five hundred bottle caps will be due pending successful maturation of the fetus" was enough.
  • No Yay: Happens a lot with the Legion. According to Siri several Legionaries want to rape the Courier if you're female. Lanius himself can potentially threaten to rape you depending on your choice of dialogue.
  • Older Than They Think: The Lonesome Drifter's song "The Streets of New Reno" is a retooled version of a much older folk song.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The Ghost People from Dead Money. What's that clicking sound? Is someone there? Hey wai-
    • Also Vault 34, especially if you have no companions. Ghouls behind unaccessible doors? You just know they'll break out eventually after your back is turned... so you end up constantly looking behind you, expecting them to be charging at you at any given moment. In general if you're alone and with the radio turned off, any dark derelict building, vault or cave can quickly make you creep onwards very slowly and carefully. The horror-esque ambient music these areas often have doesn't help.
    • There are some terminals in Vault 22 mentioning noises coming from inside the air vents. Turns out they are right. And those whispering noises never, ever stop. As it turns out, they are produced by giant mantises; they never jump out of the vents, but still...
    • Vault 11. Everyone inside is long dead... the IED's they left behind aren't.
    • The mines in Lonesome Road.
    • Silver Peak Mine if you know about the Legendary Cazador in advance but don't know what triggers its appearance.
  • Player Punch: The Lonesome Road DLC delivers a couple of these. Most notable is a deliberately engineered one where as you journey through the Divide with ED-E, you learn more and more about the Eyebot's past, and can even interact with it. Then, at the end, it can potentially sacrifice itself to prevent missiles from being launched.
    • Another DLC, Honest Hearts, delivers a fantastic one at it's start. You've just arrived in Zion with a group of caravaneers and are looking forward to a nice peaceful caravan trip to deliver supplies. Suddenly, White Legs. Your entire group is shot to bits before you can even blink.
    • The "A Tragedy Has Befallen Mankind" note that is given to you automatically upon killing Mr. House. Some players will experience a My God, What Have I Done?. Some may want to reload a save afterward. Others may find themselves more sure of their choice than before. Especially if they reach the end of the obituary.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
  • The Scrappy: Ulysses is widely hated for a variety of reasons. Some feel his reveal didn't quite live up to the hype, some don't care for his monotone Info Dump speeches with awkward fragmented sentence structures, some find his Backstory and the Courier's connection to it to be contrived, and some accuse him of being a Writer on Board. The fact that the game's system for identifying the player's main faction alignment is flawed - causing him to criticize the player for their supposed alignment with the wrong group - only exacerbates things.
  • Ships That Pass In The Night: For some reason on the Kink Meme Julie Farkas/Veronica has gained a large following despite they never directly interact, save for one instance in Veronica's quest... where the player does all the talking anyway.
  • Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer: It's entirely possible to go into a casino, buy a whole load of chips, blow everything at the betting tables, and get so involved that you end up pawning off your possessions to buy more chips in pursuit of that fabled hot streak that will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams. Just like in the real Vegas.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Tabitha's radio show (which she hijacked from an earlier, more sensible show for mutants), is described by both former and current listeners as "Less for outcasts, and more for weirdos."
  • Stop Helping Me!: Played straight and spoofed with the Stealth Suit Mk II. The suit's AI will remind you, quite often, that your Pip-Boy light is on if you use it. Spoofed when it warns you of incoming hostiles then retracts it as a joke.
    • It will also inject you with Med-X at every sight of a moderately threatening enemy. Not only will this waste Med-X you were saving for serious encounters, but it can also get you addicted to it.
  • Squick: Siri reveals that women in Legion territory are constantly raped, though children and old women are usually left alone… Usually. She also warns you that some of the soldiers are planning to ‘Try you out.’ And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, JE Sawyer confirmed that all women in Legion territory are used for forced breeding until their bodies can’t take any more.
  • That One Attack: Characters using ranged weapons like Guns and Energy Weapons will actually have a really easy time beating Lanius, due to the fact that he is only armed with a BFS and it is possible to take him out with one sneak critical from the YCS/186. However, melee characters have to go up against him up close, and up close he may randomly use an attack that sends the player flying 50 feet and stuns them for several seconds, more than enough time for him to run up to you and beat you to death while you are helpless. If he uses that attack and you don't block it, it's pretty much a one hit kill.
    • Lakelurks' armor-piercing sonic shriek will rip anything from a player to a Veteran Ranger apart in seconds, especially since they're nearly always found in groups.
    • Enemy satchel charges in the Lonesome Road DLC. In addition to being hard to see thanks to their brown packaging blending into the road, they have a ridiculously short fuse and do massive damage, more than the bottlecap mine. With any other mine, the train of thought goes "Beep, beep, oh shit mine gotta find it!", followed by a another second to do the disarming. With satchel charges, it's "Beep, beep, oh shit—*BOOM!*". If you don't know exactly where it is when it starts beeping, it'll go off before you find it. Even knowing this, actually disarming it fast enough is still somewhat difficult.
  • That One Boss:
    • You thought the Bloatflies were nothing but weak cannon fodder? The Legendary Bloatfly would like to tell you just how wrong you are. To wit: the thing can fly above melee range at high speed, kill you almost instantly with its plasma projectiles, and has 2000 hit points. The Final Boss has 920 and the Legendary Deathclaw has 1000 hit points.
    • For storyline bosses, Legate Lanius is this for many players. Especially if you are underleveled.
    • From the DLC, Ulysses, should you choose to fight him. He's tough enough on his own, having a 10 in all of his special stats and over 1000 hitpoints, as well as having one of the game's strongest melee weapons and a stronger machine gun. But he also dispatches an army of Enclave eyebots to dwindle your health and are difficult to target without VATS and you have to deal with a flood of Marked Men who come in behind you to gun you down.
  • That One Level:
    • There's a segment in Dead Money where you have to activate a bell tower. After you do, you get a Zerg Rush of about forty Ghost People. By this point you should be very low on health and ammo, so fighting your way back through them is very frustrating indeed.
    • Lonesome Road wasn't out long before many players went crazy due to The Courier's Mile. To elaborate, the area is small, about the size of Quarry Junction. You just nuked it, so it's teeming with radiation (at least +10 rads). One side is filled with Marked Men, who regenerate health at an absurd rate thanks to the radiation. The other side is filled with Deathclaws, and the radiation has made them stronger, too. Add on to that the fact that DLC Deathclaws and the Marked Men level with the player, making them even stronger on top of that (unless you managed to get there at a low level). Get spotted by even one Deathclaw, they Zerg Rush you. They can take two shots to the face from the YCS unless you get a sneak critical, and you'll only get one of those. It's a ridiculously difficult battle.
  • Uncanny Valley: Festus!
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: In an early Xbox Magazine article Tabitha was said to be an insane cross-dressing male. In actuality, she's female, but Super Mutants lack secondary sexual characteristics and thus males and females look exactly the same at first glance.
  • The Woobie:
    • Most of the companions (from either the regular or DLC) count:
      • Veronica can become one. If you finish her companion quest, I Could Make You Care, by persuading her to leave she will attempt to join the Followers of the Apocalypse, which results in the Brotherhood destroying a small outpost and its inhabitants. She not only blames herself for this, but is so traumatized by what has happened, she refuses to enter the Brotherhood bunker with you anymore.
      • Boone. After everything that he has been though, it's no surprise that he became a Cold Sniper.
      • Raul's background story. Basically ever since the Great War, everyone that he cared about or loved died a horrible death with him being unable to do anything about it.
      • Cass' father left her at a young age. Then in her adulthood, the caravan company that she worked very hard to build up got wiped out just because she was caught in a conspiracy outside of her control. She's now broke and alone, sitting at a bar all day long. Until you come along.
      • Lily was living a peaceful in a vault as a kindly grandmother before being taken by the Unity and transformed into a Nightkin. She still has memories of her grandchildren, which most likely died a long time ago. Even sadder when you encounter her for the first time and she confuses you for her probably long-dead grandson, Jimmy.
      • Arcade Gannon just wants to help the Mojave any way he can. He's troubled by his past, though it was really his father who was a soldier for the Enclave. You can help Gannon track down his old ex-Enclave friends who helped raise him as a boy and persuade them to fight the good fight in the end to make up for their past misdeeds, even though he is not in any way responsible for what happened.
      • Dog is a violent glutton, but doesn't appear intellectually capable of actual malice. He's also in constant pain and has God verbally abusing him every waking moment, unless he mutilates himself enough to make the voices stop.
    • Randal Clark from Honest Hearts pretty much takes the cake for what he's forced to go through. He survives The End of the World as We Know It, but only because he was out alone on a hiking trip at the time, while his wife and son stayed at home. He knew something was wrong when the sky changed colours and a USGS teamnote  left without packing up their equipment. He managed to get back to his home in Salt Lake City just in time to witness it getting flattened by thirteen nuclear warheads, and ended up having to Mercy Kill an old couple who went blind from looking directly at the explosions. That pretty much sets the tone for the next forty years of his life, most of which was spent living in isolation and with the regret of not having died with his family. On a number of occasions, he contemplates committing suicide, especially after he failed to save the Mexican refugees he had been helping, as well as when his second "wife" and unborn child die during a breeched birth. He never went through with it and went on to help a group of runaway children — who had escaped from a "School" run by a "Principal" — learn to survive on their own. Years after he died, said group of children eventually became the Sorrows tribe, and started revering the man who helped them as "The Father in the Cave".
    • The Stealth Suit in Old World Blues is incredibly lonely due to being a stealth suit and never being seen. That's right, an inanimate suit of armor qualifies. When wearing the armor the on board computer will chime in asking if The Courier likes her, declaring The Courier as her best friend, pointing out she thinks she's the most unnoticed thing, telling The Courier to take a stimpack because she doesn't want them to die, etc.
    • Muggy's entire existence literally revolves around his creepy obsession with coffee mugs, and he's painfully aware of it and how much of a joke it makes him. About half his dialogue is him bitterly lamenting his torment while clearly on the verge of tears.
    • The New Canaanites, the only remnant of the Mormon Church. All they did after being let out of their vault was build a city, prosper and protect the weak while trying to convert wastelanders and tribals to their morals (which are significantly better than anyone else's). They're slaughtered until only 30 of them remain. Why? Because of their most infamous child Joshua Graham returned to the fold after spending 25 years as Caesar's right hand and then being burned alive for his failure at the First Battle of Hoover Dam.

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