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Fallout: New Vegas provides examples of the following tropes:

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  • Early-Bird Cameo:
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Regardless of who ultimately gains control of the Mojave Wasteland, typically the ending has some communities prospering, while others suffer (with much more suffering and less prospering if you sided with the Legion). However, it actually is possible to get a positive outcome for almost every community and character on the NCR and (to a marginally lesser extent) House and Independent routes. Doing so is difficult, however, as the conditions to bring about a community or character's positive outcome are not always obvious (and in some cases are even counter-intuitive), and often involve difficult speech checks or extensive exploration.
    • If you want to save all your allies in Dead Money (which unlocks a special epilogue) you have to refrain from attempting a Barter skill check against Dean. Most players will assume all skill checks help you, but pulling this one in particular will earn his enmity and ultimately forcing you to kill him when he turns hostile.
    • Your companions (except for Rex and ED-E) all have unmarked sidequests. Not completing them earns them a bad or bittersweet ending. However, should you be lucky (or internet search-y) enough to complete them, choosing the right options leads to a mostly sweet or even a Golden Ending for them.
    • All the DLC have the best endings for all characters involved only gained through either extremely high skill check options and/or by thoroughly exploring the area and finding pickups. Dead Money and Honest Hearts needs the former, Old World Blues needs both while Lonesome Road needs either one.
  • Ear Worm: Muggy in Old World Blues gets a song about mugs stuck in his head.
    Muggy: God, why can't I stop singing this fucking song?
  • Eating the Enemy: In the DLC Dead Money, the quickest way to make sure the Ghost People will stay dead apart from dismembering their corpses is to have Dog eat them.
  • Egopolis: Black Mountain is a borderline version; Tabitha renamed it as the "State of Utobitha."
  • Elaborate Underground Base:
    • The Fiends and one faction of the Powder Gangers use abandoned Vaults as these.
    • The Brotherhood of Steel reside at Hidden Valley, a complex of underground bunkers designed to be used as a haven by U.S. government officials before the Great War. If you get in their good graces, they'll let you use another bunker as a safehouse. Finishing the Dead Money DLC nets you a third Brotherhood bunker as a base.
    • The Enclave Remnants store their vertibird and Powered Armor in such a base.
    • Mr. House has a factory for his Mecha-Mooks built under Fortification Hill. Caesar builds his main base directly on top of it (which can prove to be a serious tactical error in two of the endings).
  • Elevator Action Sequence: In a first for the series, Lonesome Road has you descending a lift platform to a nuke silo, with explosions and Tunnelers popping in and out spontaneously.
  • Elite Mooks: Each major faction has a couple different types of these guys. Typically, they have high-end weapons and armor, as well as Companion-level health that also scales up with the player's level.
    • Caesar's best Elite Mooks are his Praetorian Guard; hand-to-hand masters armed with the best punching weapon in the game. Next are his Centurions, who aren't quite as tough as most of the game's Elite Mooks, but come equipped with the best armor and weapons available to the Legion. Finally, if you really piss the Legion off they'll send a squad of crack assassins to end you.
    • NCR has the Veteran Rangers (the guys on the front cover of the game), who have excellent armor, high-caliber weapons, and an innate 30% reduction to any damage they take, making them some of the toughest human characters in the entire game. There's also the NCR Heavy Troopers, clad in salvaged Power Armor and wielding heavy weapons like miniguns or light machine guns. And don't forget 1st Recon, the NCR Army's elite sniper squad.
    • The fighting ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel are composed entirely of Elite Mooks, considering their standard equipment is Power Armor and some of the best energy weapons in the game. The drawback is they lack the numerical advantage of the other factions, who have enough normal Mooks to just swarm them into submission.
    • You will fight a large amount of these guys in the final battle depending on the side you choose. Thankfully, you will be helped by Securitrons or Elite Mooks on your side.
  • Elvis Impersonator: A whole gang of them, using the surviving premises and supplies of a School of Impersonation. In an interesting twist, they don't really know who Elvis was - only that he was incredibly cool and widely revered - and their leader, The King, admits he'd have taken on the name no matter what the building was originally for, but the image works well for keeping Freesiders' spirits up.
  • Empathic Weapon:
    • Old World Blues introduces the Stealth Suit Mk II, which has an on-board A.I. that makes idle chatter, lets you know when enemies have spotted you, and injects you with Med-X and Stimpacks if you take too much damage.
    • Also, the K9000 Cyberdog Gun and its upgrade, FIDO. It's a dog's brain housed inside a machine gun. It growls when it smells enemies, even at extreme ranges, and whines sadly when you holster it.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Courier's actions can lead to NCR troopers fighting the Second Battle of Hoover Dam alongside Great Khan warriors, Brotherhood of Steel Paladins, and the Enclave remnants, all of whom were their sworn enemies just weeks before.
    • If you're working for Mr. House or for Yes Man, have saved the NCR president and/or done some good for the NCR, their troopers will actively help you out in fighting the Legion. However, this is because they genuinely don't know that you're no longer working for them.
    • Also, it's possible to get the Khans, the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave to fight for the NCR despite historically being some of their greatest and most hated enemies. This is especially significant for the Khans, who have been the bitter enemies of the vault dwellers who founded Shady Sands (which became NCR) ever since they were rival factions within Vault 15.
      • This trope is most prevalent specifically with Orion Moreno, who hates the NCR with a burning passion, and won't forgive them for the events of Fallout 2. You have to really convince him to go along with it. The other four Remnants know that they can do their job without him, but wouldn't be as effective since he's the muscle of the group. It comes down to having him put aside his hatred in order to focus on the fact that he'll be once again using his beloved heavy weapons and bloodlust to kill bad guys again like he loved to do in his glory days.
  • Energy Weapon: Following Fallout 3. Unlike earlier Fallout games, here lasers are THE most accurate weapon in the game, especially outside VATS as the beams hit the target instantly. the plasmas act like Slow Lasers, but those are not laser weapons.
  • Epic Fail: This Bloody Hilarious gem if you try to amputate an NCR trooper's leg without a high-enough Medicine skill:
    Without thinking, you start amputating the leg. Partway through, you realize it was the wrong leg. As you start amputating the other leg, the patient dies from shock.
  • Epic Launch Sequence: The quest "Come Fly With Me" has the Courier helping a cult of ghouls bring some pre-war rockets to working order so they can reach their promised land in "the Far Beyond". Once the rockets are up and ready and the ghouls are aboard, they give you the honour of launching them. The original engineers of the facility were clearly going for this trope, as "Ride of the Valkyries" starts playing the moment you flip the switch.
  • Epic Tracking Shot: One right in the beginning that covers almost everything about the game. You start from a poster of old Las Vegas in the deserted Lucky 38, then go to the current New Vegas where drunk NCR troopers and prostitutes make a ruckus on the streets while Securitrons come to break them up, to a NCR ranger taking a shot atop the "Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, to the raider he's sniping, to Legion scouts and troops on the move on the hills nearby, to the Goodsprings graveyard where the Khans are digging your grave, finishing with a zoom out once the shot reaches you inconscious on the ground.
  • Equippable Ally: The aforementioned Cyberdog guns, and the Stealth Suit from Old World Blues. A slavishly loyal Robot Girl who reminds you to turn off your Pip-Boy lamp when sneaking, feeds you medicine when you get hurt (50% HP), and is brokenhearted when you take her off.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Your first encounter with the New California Republic is likely to be an outpost near the town of Primm. Primm needs a new sheriff, and one solution is to invite the NCR to take over. If you can find another solution, the NCR are happy to leave Primm alone.
    • Your first encounter with Caesar's Legion is likely to be at the nearby town of Nipton, where they have performed a massacre.
  • Eternal English: Zig-zagged. Most people from the NCR to Caesar's Legion speak an English that's recognizable to their Pre-War ancestors, with the likes of Raul speaking Spanish as well. Tribals like the ones in Zion on the other hand speak tongues that, while descended from English and whatever other languages said Tribals' founders spoke, are nigh unintelligible.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The slave traders encountered during the quest The Coyotes are freaked out by Cook-Cook's psychotic tendencies.
  • Everybody Is Jesus in Purgatory: An In-Universe example with Ulysses. As a former frumentarius for the Legion he witnessed a lot of senseless destruction, but none so great as the unintentional destruction wrought when the Courier delivered the package to the Divide that destroyed the settlement and turned it into an irradiated hellhole even by this series's standards. After this event he became obsessed with the idea of one individual affecting great change, as well as the usage of symbols without understanding the true meanings behind them (which every single faction is guilty of to a certain extent, especially the NCR and Legion). He mentally crafted a grand mythos behind these events as a way of justifying his new worldview, when at the end of the day it was simply a terrible accident that no one could've really predicted or prevented. There was no malicious intent behind the destruction of the Divide, but Ulysses is simply incapable of accepting the fact that shit just happens sometimes, although you can break him out of this over the course of the Lonesome Road DLC.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Toned down quite a bit from Fallout 3, as there are fewer cars and fewer of them explode now. Nonetheless expect to see long dead cars blow up every now and then.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The Mojave is a pretty harsh place, what with raiders, irradiated animals, and the like, but the Dead Money DLC makes all that seem like a cakewalk by comparison.
  • Evil Chef:
    • Philippe is the chef of the Ultra-Luxe and not only he's a cannibal as part of the White Glove Society, he's utterly arrogant and will always try to talk you down, claiming he "invented edible food". He's also one of the very few characters with Very Evil karma, although his evilness is imply to be part of a Freudian Excuse (that can be hilariously exploited if you have high Medicine skill).
    • Cook-Cook is the Fiend's chef (you can even find his stew recipe) and also a pyromaniac and rapist at the same time, some cut dialogues also imply that he's into cannibalism.
  • Evil Counterpart: Ulysses—if the player character is good and supporting the NCR, down to him being a Legion scout who was the original Courier for the Platinum Chip, a role he passed to you because of his hatred for you.
  • Evil Is Easy: It's very easy to simply steal owned items for supplies rather than buying or looking for free ones, especially if those supplies belong to a faction you just butchered. Of course, doing so will bring your Karma down pretty fast, but earning it back isn't too difficult. You can gain positive karma for killing feral ghouls and Fiends.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • It's heavily implied through the investigation that the whole reason Jeannie sold Boone's wife to the Legion was because she critiqued her hotel.
    • Dean Domino planned the heist of the Sierra Madre that doomed his rival Sinclair and his lover-turned-stooge Vera, because Sinclair was "happy" and Dean wasn't. Exactly 204 years later, and he's still the selfish, petty, and unhappy prick he was the day the Sierra Madre closed to the world (with more survival skills of course). He doesn't change after leaving the Sierra Madre either.
    • If Colonel Moore doesn't get her way (i.e. the extermination of the Kings and the Brotherhood of Steel) she'll not only get Ambassador Crocker fired but also start a smear campaign against you that lowers your NCR rep.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Lucky 38, if you consider House as evil. Unless there's a large hill or mountain in the way, it can be seen from almost anywhere in the Mojave.
    • And if you decide to play as an evil Courier (and decide to take House out of the picture) it can be yours instead
  • Evil vs. Oblivion: Arguably, the entire Dead Money DLC if your character is evil. An evil karma Courier is a horrible person, no doubt, but Elijah is an Omnicidal Maniac out to wipe out the population of the Mojave and the NCR. You can side with him, but it results in a Non Standard Game Over. Not even going ahead with Ulysses' plan to nuke the two major powers does that.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The entire Lonesome Road DLC, if the player character is evil.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The reward for the quest The Legend of the Star is just Festus retelling you why the Sunset Sarsaparilla logo exists to begin with. It does lead to another quest with a better reward though.
  • Exact Words: How Fantastic convinced the NCR to put him in charge of Helios One despite his complete incompetence:
    Fantastic: "They were going door to door asking if anyone knew any scientists. I said look no further. They asked me if I knew anything about power plants. I said as much as anyone I'd ever met. They asked me if I understood theoretical physics. I said I had a theoretical degree in physics. They said welcome aboard."
  • Explosive Leash: Bomb collars make surprisingly frequent appearances throughout the game.
    • If one manages to find and enter the Brotherhood of Steel's secret bunker without being accompanied by a certain companion, they'll strip you down and force you to wear a bomb collar until you convince an NCR Ranger stationed nearby to leave (through speech or otherwise).
    • As mentioned above, in the Dead Money DLC, you and your companions are forced to wear these collars to ensure that you will aid Father Elijah in his quest to rob the Sierra Madre casino. Unfortunately, the casino is littered with speakers that interfere with the collar's operation and will cause it to detonate prematurely unless you get out of range or destroy the speaker.
    • In Old World Blues, one can find Little Yangtze, a concentration camp for Chinese prisoners from before the War. The ghoulified prisoners there are still wearing working bomb collars, which will detonate if they try to follow you out of the camp. In addition, you can find a few of Father Elijah's encampments, at least one of which is littered with disabled or otherwise broken bomb collars and a detonator.
  • Exposition Fairy: Lampshaded — Doc Mitchell, who patches up your gaping head wounds and walks you through the character building process waves off your gratitude, saying, "It's what I'm here for."
  • Exposition of Immortality: Mr. House, once you finally get to meet him, reveals himself to be quite a bit older than you might have been expecting. He's got quite the collection of pre-war artifacts, and he's more than happy to pay you to increase them, too. He's also reduced to living in a life support system and communicating entirely through electronic screens and his robot minions, but given that he was born 260 years ago, that's not bad going.
  • Expy: Mick and Ralph are similar to Flak and Shrapnel from Fallout 3. Both duos co-own a store together with one being in charge a weapons and the other being in charge of consumables. The difference between the two pairs is their demeanor towards their customers; Flak and Shrapnel tend to be gruff Jerkasses (as they used to be slavers in the past), while Mick and Ralph are considerably more welcoming and friendly. They can seem to be Foils of the other two.
    • The White Legs from Honest Hearts and the Fiends. They’re both Always Chaotic Evil to boot with access to powerful weapons and depending on how you deal with them, you can potentially cripple them beyond repair that they’re essentially wiped out in the epilogues.


  • Faction Calculus: As much of the main story revolves around a military conflict, different factions can be classified by this:
    • Both NCR and Caesar's Legion are Balanced, with a slight differences in their strengths. NCR has superior technology but the majority of their forces have only received basic military training. Legion eschews advanced technology, but even their average footsoldier has trained heavily.
    • Brotherhood and House are Powerhouses. The Brotherhood has extensive training and advanced technology, but they are very low in numbers, exacerbated by recent heavy losses against NCR. House has a small army of heavily armed and armored Securitron robots, with the caveat that they are mostly, if not solely holdovers from pre-war construction. To what extent House is able to produce new Securitrons is not addressed.
  • Faction-Specific Endings: The game has several endings depending on which faction you side with, as well as your morality and certain other choices (including individual "where are they now" segments for each recruitable character) as well as a "Wildcard" ending where the player hijacks Benny's plan to take over the region which leaves all the factions sent packing.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Due to how SPECIAL stats work, you can sneak by NPCs in broad daylight provided that the their perception is low and your sneak skill is high enough. Compounded with what the game considers "dark area," you could potentially stand next to a high-perception NPC against a brightened backdrop, provided you're in the shadows.
      • This can be averted when the developers don't want you to sneak past some enemies and give them incredible perception, so they can find you when invisible.
    • In any location where weapons are banned, you can walk around with your holdout weapon prominently strapped to your hip and no one will notice until you draw it.
  • Fake Difficulty: Cazadores have an ever-present bug (no pun intended) that makes targeting their heads in VATS impossible unless it's already targeted when you go into VATS.
    • Cazadores as a whole can end up being Fake Difficulty because of one easily exploited, but never mentioned trick: Shooting their wings slows them to a crawl, to a point where they're only marginally faster then the Courier backpedaling. Not only that, but their wings tend to be extremely easy to cripple. These tricks help make the once nightmare-inducing Cazadores into easy 50 XP shots. Too bad Boone never tries this.
  • Fallout Shelter Fail: Vault 3 remained safe until a water leak forced them to open their doors in the hopes of attracting traders, only to be raided by the Fiends and massacred to the last man.
  • Fan Disservice: Beatrix Russell, a cowboy-type with a taste for whips and domination. When you recruit her to work as a dominatrix at the Atomic Wrangler, she dons a Stripperiffic outfit consisting of a Black Bra and (leather) Panties, a Corset, cowboy hat, and chains. Only problem? She's a ghoul, though. You can sleep with her as well. The screen fades to black out and you don't see anything but you can hear...sounds...
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • On both sides. Humans call Ghouls "zombies" and Ghouls call humans "smoothskins." Ironically, one of the members of a Ghoul-centric religious faction is a human who delusionally pretends to be a Ghoul after exhibiting... mild natural symptoms such as balding after escaping from a certain vault.
    • Also, the mercenaries that attack Jacobstown's Super Mutants.
    • And in the other direction by the way Rhonda and Best Friend Tabitha refer to humans on Black Mountain Radio.
  • The Farmer and the Viper:
    • With Doc Mitchell as the Farmer and the Courier as the Viper, if the player chooses to side with the Powder Gangers in Ghost Town Gunfight/Run, Goodsprings, Run!
    • Also applies if the Courier repays Victor for saving them by murdering Mr. House.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Little Buster the bounty hunter isn't afraid of dying in the course of his work, but he is afraid of being raped by Cook-Cook.
    • While Ghoulification isn't necessarily all bad (it does makes you ugly), losing your mind and becoming a slavering, carnivorous zombie is pretty bad. Which is presumably why you get Good Karma for killing Feral Ghouls.
    • The inhabitants of Vault 22.
    • The "Ghosts" of Sierra Madre. The hazmat suits did a pretty good job when it came to keeping the guests and residents alive... Well, alive long enough to turn them into whatever they are now.
    • Life in the Legion, if you're a woman. Being enslaved by the Legion as a man is only better in relative terms. Your choice is either crucifixion or to train yourself close to death to murder your friends back home — who will probably now see you as nothing more than a traitor wearing the enemy's colors. Bonus points if your wife/sister/mother/daughter was captured alongside you.
    • Having your brain, spine and heart removed and becoming a blood-thirsty 'Lobotomite.'
    • According to Ulysses, the residents of the Mojave, if the Tunnelers beneath the Divide expand their territory...
    • The "inhabitants" of Y17a Trauma Harnesses. Walking suits created to pick up wounded on the battlefield and walk them out. Somehow they forgot to walk them out, so these wounded are kept within a walking suit which does whatever it wants without any chance of getting out.
    • The Marked Men found in Lonesome Road are unfortunate NCR soldiers and Legionnaires caught in the Divide's sandstorms after the nuclear warheads buried under the Divide were set off. The storms tore the skin from their bodies, then the intense radiation flash-ghoulified them. Even though they were from opposite sides, they now work together against all others because their constant, intense pain is the only identity they have left.
    • You can do this yourself to Mr. House by disconnecting him from his computers, but leaving him alive as a withered, crippled old man all alone in a big empty basement, still hooked up to life support which will at least make sure he won't starve to death. Telling in advance this is what you intend to do even makes him respond that he would rather die.
  • The Federation: The New California Republic.
  • Festering Fungus: The spores of Vault 22, courtesy of the folks up in Big MT.
  • Fetch Quest: A few. Most notably, there is Still in the Dark for the Brotherhood of Steel. You first have to obtain 3 holotapes from dead BoS soldiers in widely separated locations. Then you have to talk to 3 Brotherhood scouts in widely separated locations. Finally You have to enter three vaults to get the parts to fix their air purification system.
  • Fiery Redhead: Cass. She's already hardened from living as a trader in the Mojave, but get her drunk and you'll see why you don't call her "Whiskey Rose".
  • Firing One-Handed: Unless you're actively aiming down the sight, most handguns are held with just one hand. There's even a perk for one-handed weapons.
  • Fission Mailed: Collecting all 50 Star Bottle Caps grants you the reward of a story about how the owner of Sunset Sarsaparilla killed a guy for his recipe was left a recipe by a stranger who was killed by bandits, told to you by a mechanical toy sheriff, followed by the "Quest FAILED" message. You then complain to Festus, who triggers a brief second quest to collect your real reward. It's particularly effective since there is an achievement/trophy for completing the original quest, though it's the follow-up that gives you credit.
  • A Fistful of Rehashes: The Mojave is contested among three major powers: The New California Republic, Caesar's Legion, and the independent city of New Vegas under House. As the plot unfolds, your character will be solicited for support by all three parties, and while it's possible to pick a side and stick with it, you can also try to play all three against one another to your own advantage. Downplayed in that both the Legion and the NCR have "a robust network of informants" and will cut ties with you if you favor one of the other factions too heavily, and siding with either of those parties requires you to eventually kill Mr. House to take him out of play. True to the trope, you can also end up backstabbing all three and take the prize all for yourself.
  • Flaming Sword: The Shishkebab from Fallout 3 comes back in New Vegas.
  • Flare Gun: aka 'Sword Of Demonic Spider's Bane' - You can find them in The Divide during Lonesome Road, though they do relatively little damage. However, they only use ten units of Flamer fuel (a pittance, really) and they have the distinction of being the only weapon in the whole of New Vegas capable of terrifying a Deathclaw. So long as they're on fire as a result of the flare gun, "abomination"-type enemies (which includes deathclaws, nightstalkers, centaurs, and the tunnelers) will go into 'Fleeing' mode, rendering them incapable of attacking, and running from the player in the nearest convenient straight line.
  • Flat "What": With high enough Intelligence in Old World Blues,, you can inform Doctor 0 that he could simply draw a diagonal slash through his name to specify "Zero" and not "O." He reacts this way.
  • Flaying Alive: The Marked Men of the Divide. The horrifyingly violent windstorms of the Divide (made even worse by the detonation of the nuclear missiles in their silos) tore their skin from their flesh, while the extreme radiation in the area caused a form of instant ghoulification that kept them alive. The Divide winds remain strong enough to shred off any skin that should grow back.
  • Flipping the Bird: A few times, by various characters:
    • From the Dead MoneyDLC, this exchange with Christine where she tries to explain what she was doing there in the first place. Problem is, she can't speak at that point due to having her vocal cords cut out. Then you can say this:
    Courier: This charades shit is driving me crazy.
    Christine: [She frowns and raises her middle finger.]
    • From the Old World Blues DLC when the Think-Tank first encounters the Courier, Dr. Klein mistakes the fingers and toes for penises.
    After the Courier gives him the finger (failed speech check): GREAT. NOW THE PENIS ON IT'S HAND IS ACHIEVING ERECTION.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Super Mutants, eight foot tall muscular green monsters, have names like Neil, and Tabitha (and in one case, Cuddles). Though most of them are fairly friendly unless provoked these days. Emphasis on 'most'.
    • Deathbringer the Adorable: Mean Sonofabitch is just there to scare away any wannabe criminals and to bash in the heads of Fiends. He's a pretty nice guy if you get past his inability to talk coherently, actually. (His tongue was cut out.)
  • Flunky Boss: Pretty much every boss in one way or another.
    • All the legendary creatures (including the Legendary Deathclaw) are accompanied by other, non-legendary (but by no means weak) normal creatures.
    • Legate Lanius is accompanied both by his Praetorian Guards and the various Legion soldiers around the camp that will come to attack you (though you can convince him to fight you alone with 80 speech).
    • Tabitha is in a building that's guarded by about half a dozen Nightkin, and you have to fight your way through a whole village of Super Mutant Masters just to get to her.
    • Jean-Baptiste is supported by no less than five heavily armed thugs with full body armor and plasma rifles.
    • Elijah in the Dead Money add-on tries to kill you by turning on a bunch of laser turrets while he hides behind a forcefield. Though, once they're dead, he comes after you with a Gauss Rifle.
    • The ghoulifed Vault 34 overseer is in his office with a pair of machine gun turrets on his desk, and a few ghoulified security guards helping him.
    • Caesar himself is probably the strongest example. He's just a normal human and only about as tough as a member of his Praetorian Guard. However, he's surrounded by several of those Praetorian Guards, extremely tough Elite Mooks armed with the best unarmed weapons in the game, all in a relatively enclosed space with no room to dodge or retreat. Attacking him head-on, even with a high-level character, will almost certainly result in you being dogpiled into a corner and beaten to death, especially in Hardcore mode where you can't instant-heal using stimpaks. Most people just opt for walking in, immediately retreating from the tent, and dealing with him using guns by strafing around the Fort.
    • General Lee Oliver is an exaggerated version, as the Veteran NCR Rangers he's guarded by are quite a bit more threatening than he is.
    • Each of the Fiend leaders (although they're really only bosses at lower levels) come supported by a gang of four to six fiends. Except Violet, who has around 8 dogs instead.
  • F--: Or, why Doctor Borous should never be a high school principal. Even if it is only a simulated high school where he's living out petty revenge fantasies.
    • Midterm Grade Report: Richie "Ball-Lover" Marcus
    English: F-
    Math: F-
    Science: F- -
    History: F-
  • Footnote Fever: The REPCONN museum plaques.note 
  • Forbidden Zone: Dr Mobius's base in Big MT is literally called the Forbidden Zone, in keeping with his bombastic, 50s-sci-fi-esque persona. The Big Empty itself also qualifies, as do the Divide and the Sierra Madre.
    It is I, Doctor Mobius! Transmitting from my dome-shaped... dome in the Forbidden Zone! A zone that is - yes! - FORBIDDEN to you!!
  • Foreshadowing:
    • All Roads dumps a few metric tons into you.
    • Right from the start, there's tons of mysterious foreshadowing regarding Victor, the cowboy-bot who apparently dug you up in the beginning after you were left for dead. What exactly is up with him remains mysterious, but it's clear there's more to him than meets the eye.
    • When Benny tells you that "the game was rigged from the start" it seems to just be a Bond One-Liner. But when you meet Mr. House, it turns out the game was rigged after all, in Mr. House's favor. And depending on which end path you take (and how), you get to rig the game in yours.
    • Doc Mitchell's medical examination on the courier at the start does offer one piece of foreshadowing...if you have the motivation to see it. To some patients, the last Rorschach card he shows you looks a little bit like a large needle-like tower shining in the darkness... a lot like the Lucky 38 Hotel.
    • Dead Money heaps a HUGE amount of it in the final act and the end, even lampshaded by the achievement: "Hear all the stories of your future travels...".
    • The only way we know about Ulysses is through this. (unless you bought the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition and saw Ulysses as the three of clubs)
    • In Honest Hearts, the Burned Man mentions Ulysses. Apparently he's a Legion scout and spy.
    • Johnston Nash on Ulysses: "Hope a storm from The Divide skins him alive!" Guess what you can do to him at the end.
    • The Canyon Wreckage, located west of Primm, oozes this.
      • At first, the Canyon Wreckage just looks like a pile of rusted vehicles with some coyotes denning near them... until you see the graffiti, which mentions "Lonesome Road" (now the confirmed name of the last DLC), the Divide, and the cryptic message, "You can go home now, Courier." And, if you look on the map, you'll see that the canyon the wreckage is blocking is the only path through the western mountains.
    • The Northern Passage, though it lacks the graffiti and ominous location of the Canyon Wreckage, is the launch point for the DLC Honest Hearts.
    • The Mojave Drive-In seems like the last place to expect a DLC to launch, but nevertheless shows up in the trailer for Old World Blues, the third DLC. It's just a regular ruined drive-in movie theater... with a rather cryptic train tunnel to the south, that also shows up in the trailer, only from the other side.
      • The setting of Old World Blues is also alluded by Christine as she was trapped and experimented on within the Big MT. She also mentions the aforementioned Ulysses as the courier who rescued her. Sound familiar?
    • Before Dead Money came out, Veronica had this little bit of dialogue regarding Elijah.
    He said he'd be back with one of the greatest treasures of the Old World. Said he'd make the Mojave how it was meant to be... "wipe the slate clean."
    • Old World Blues is literally dripping with Foreshadowing for the last add-on, Lonesome Road, not only with the omnipresent symbol of the Old World America's flag left by Ulysses on several buildings and the holotapes of him but in the X-17 Meteorological Station, mentioned repeatedly to have been visited by Ulysses, is a map of what could very well be the Divide, the location of Lonesome Road.
    • During Cass's companion quest (Heartache By The Number) one of the sacked caravans can be found near a billboard for The Silver Rush, a weapons distributor specializing in energy weapons. Turns out the owners (The VanGraffs) were paid by Alice McLafferty (of the Crimson Caravan) to sack competing caravan companies so McLafferty could buy them out, Cassidy Caravans included.
    • When meeting the Happy Trails Caravan Company in the opening of Honest Hearts, the Courier can expose Ricky as a liar and tell him to leave the expedition to Salt Lake City because he's in over his head, and the fact that his Pip-Boy, his sole contribution, is broken renders him useless. This will cause Ricky to spitefully hope they walk into an ambush and get killed. Once they get to Zion Valley, that's exactly what happens, and the entire Happy Trails Caravan Expedition dies with the Courier being the Sole Survivor.
  • For Science!:
    • The Think Tank in the Big MT in Old World Blues takes this to both comedic and horrifying extents. For example, Doctor Borous created the cazadores and nightstalkers just on a bet that he couldn't do it. Maybe. He can't remember exactly. Borous will even specify to you that what he does is not mere science, but Science!
    • Doctor Henry in Jacobstown is a milder case. According to Arcade, he works on difficult medical problems not because he wants fame, money or to help people, but just for the intellectual satisfaction of solving problems. He has no moral quandaries about whether the problem in question is curing an illness or creating a new one specifically designed to target and wipe out specific sections of population.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Travel Light and Tunnel Runner perks grant faster movement speed (while sneaking, in the latter case), but only while wearing Light or no armor.
  • Friend to All Children: The "Child at Heart" perk from Fallout 3, which unlocks special lines in dialog with children was going to return, but was Dummied Out presumably due to how few children are in the game.
  • Friendly Sniper: Pretty much any member of 1st Recon, current or former, that isn't Boone, especially 10 of Spades.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • Caesar was originally a member of the Followers of the Apocalypse, one of the least aggressive and most humanitarian factions in the wastes.
    • The player character starts out as a low-ranked delivery boy for a small-time courier company. By the end, he or she will generally be a battle-hardened veteran with either an arsenal of weapons to humble an army, an arsenal of skills sufficient to deal with any challenge, or possibly both with careful skill/perk/trait selection. Oh, and you can also take over the Mojave for yourself, fitting the trope almost exactly if you do it as an evil character.
    • The Survivalist in Honest Hearts. Some sickly Vault 22 survivors wander into the Valley and proceed to slaughter and ...dispose of a group of Mexican survivors he was observing and occasionally secretly helping. Still possessing human dignity, he wages a one-man guerrilla war after observing their atrocity and cuts the majority of the group down. The "Vaulters" (as Survivalist called them in his logs) considered him to be no mere man but an evil spirit, since they never could catch him.
    • The NCR is also this after a fashion, having gone a long way from its origins as a fledging village called Shady Sands in the first Fallout.
  • From Zero to Hero: Played With. You're a traveling Courier (who are generally known to be badasses, to survive constant travel in the Wastes). Even the Courier, however, fits the spirit of this trope due to the Reputation mechanic of the game, where you go from being completely unknown and dismissed by every faction and tribe in the Mojave to the main entity that every side seeks to either recruit or destroy at all costs.
  • Fun with Acronyms: F.I.S.T.O. the Sex Bot.
  • Funny Schizophrenia: For the most point averted: the Nightkin's schizophrenia is portrayed very painfully tragically, especially for the Courier's companions Lily and Dog/God. However, two times the tropes played straight is with Tabitha (and she's hilarious) and the Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch "Wind Brahmin Salesman."
  • Future Imperfect: Averted. Pre-war books are far less rare here than they were on the East Coast, civilization is far more organized, and the Followers of the Apocalypse, Brotherhood of Steel and New California Republic have done a pretty good job accurately preserving the knowledge of the past — Caesar and his officers, for example, know more about the Roman Empire than most people in Real Life do. Of course, this has the added benefit of Las Vegas only being nuked 11 times — compare that to everywhere else. And it also helps that there are still people, or rather Ghouls who were around when the Great War happened.
    • Heartwarmingly, Wasteland Survival Guides, carried all the way from the Capital Wasteland, litter the Mojave, helping so much that they increase your survival skill.
    • Played straight with the Tribals, however, if what was once Zion National Park is any indication. Or Raul's irritated insistence on calling the land of Two-Sun, as the local tribals call it, by its actual name: Tuscon, Arizona.
    • Downplayed with the Kings, who set up shop in an Elvis impersonation school. While the man's name is lost to time, there's enough left over for the Kings to figure out more or less what their hangout was used for and who "the King" was, though they think it was a place for worshipping him.

  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Jury Rigging perk, which allows you to repair any weapon or armor with a somewhat similar piece of equipment. A Power Fist with some boxing tape? A shiskebab with a rolling pin? A Power Armor helm with a pair of sunglasses? You can do that. The reverse is also true.
  • Gambit Pileup:
    • The NCR, Caesar's Legion, and Mr. House are competing in a high-stakes tournament with New Vegas as the prize, and they're all trying to stack the deck in their favor — and you're the Wild Card. The core conflict is NCR and the Legion both fighting for control of the Dam and New Vegas. Beyond this basic plot, House has an army of robots waiting to swoop in and steal the land literally right from under the Legion. The NCR and Legion both know this, and potentially have him assassinated. On top of that, Benny is planning to take over New Vegas by overthrowing House, as are the Omertas, except they plan on allying with the Legion first. You, the Courier, can at the same time also be planning to take over New Vegas by overthrowing House and stealing his army with the help of Yes Man, while either aiding or foiling the Omertas. Then the DLC just adds more gambits; Father Elijah of Dead Money manipulates the Think Tank, Courier, Dean Domino, and Dog/God into helping him obtain experimental pre-War technology in his attempt to conquer the Mojave by killing most of post-apocalyptic America's remaining population, and can potentially succeed in bringing what's left of the world under his control (though unlike other options, this gives a Non Standard Game Over). The Think Tank of Old World Blues manipulates the Courier and Mobius in hopes that they'll be able to break out of Big MT and cause trouble in the Mojave, while Mobius already has an long-running scheme going on to make sure that The Think Tank aren't going anywhere while making sure the Courier is able to retake all of their removed body parts. And on top of all of this, Ulysses from Lonesome Road is planning on nuking both the Legion and the NCR while leaving the Mojave to die. That's about ten gambits, all trying to top one another. You decide which one (or combination of them) comes out on top.
    • The Sierra Madre opening was a giant gambit pileup. The maintenance crews embezzling money away from the construction; Vera and Domino planning to rob the casino; Sinclair's attempts to foil them, as well as him forcing employees and visitors to visit the vending machines for food and drugs, creating black markets; Big MT testing out incredibly sharp knives, faulty hazmat suits and auto-docs, and deadly gas. All this resulted in the guests getting trapped inside the casino, and subsequently massacred by the holograms, Ghost People, or the Cloud.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: While it has improved a lot since launch, the game is still quite unstable, and odd glitches may still manifest that will prevent even the most able player from obtaining unique items and party members.
    • Though it doesn't break the rest of the game, a glitch can completely screw over the town of Novac — Chris Haversam randomly runs away and/or vanishes, preventing the player from finishing "Come Fly With Me" and thus getting anything other than a negative ending for the town as the ghouls in the nearby help the town defend against or evacuate from Caesar's Legion.
    • 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 remain unseen.
    • In some circumstances, the lockpick screen becomes completely blank, which makes lockpicking somewhat harder than it's supposed to be.
    • Cazador poison won't 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 damn 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 restock. This is only fixable by starting a new file, and might not become immediately evident until several hours into the game.
    • One bug that's 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. As long 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.
    • In the NCR questline, when you have to deal with the Great Khans, choosing to side with them without going back to report to Moore that you'll try a diplomatic solution (instead of killing them all, which is your initial objective) may have the effect of freezing the quest. The quest isn't considered as failed, but the quest-giver won't consider it done. The only solutions are to load an earlier save and reporting to Moore before achieving the mission, kill them all, or continue the game by switching sides.
    • When you enter The Tops casino, all your weapons are taken from you. You may not get them back when you leave.
    • When you enter Gomorrah, your follower loses all their weapons and ammo (even the hidden infinite ones they use as default), even if you told them to wait in front of the building. You have to dismiss them to avoid this, though sending them back to the Lucky 38 can trigger another glitch which erases said follower from the game.
    • When you send a non-human companion (such as ED-E or Rex) to the Lucky 38, there's a chance that they may be erased from the game entirely, meaning that their companion quests become Unwinnable by Mistake.
    • A Cazador can randomly spawn in Jacobstown. Given the way Cazador poison and companion quests are made, Lily will probably be killed by it since she isn't marked as essential until you pick her up. This will fail both her quest and the "Guess Who I Saw Today" quest.
  • Game Mod: As usual, there's an abundance of mods to change the game in minor to significant ways. Extending the game past the final mission is one of the big ones. It's recommended to grab some of the ones that fix obvious bugs, namely the fact that the Followers can't ally with the NCR properly. There's also the one that keeps ED-E from setting off mines, which no flying robot should do. A less important but still useful one is the mod that restores the option to spare the Brotherhood in House's questline. Another one still not only reintroduces the Enclave as a viable lore-friendly faction in-game but also has the option of letting the Courier join them. Yet another particularly large one, Tale of Two Wastelands, imports the entirety of Fallout 3 and its expansions into New Vegas (provided you have legal copies of both games), and travel back and forth between the Capital and Mojave Wastelands, experiencing all the locations, quests, characters, items, etc. that both games have to offer in one playthrough.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: In normal mode, companions can only be knocked unconscious, with the exception of two quests. Hardcore mode, on the other hand... ED-E in Lonesome Road is essential even in Hardcore mode, since you can't complete the storyline without him.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Looting some body parts from corpses actually causes the body parts to be ripped off the corpse. It isn't just treated as a random item in the inventory of the corpse.
    • Also, having too few skill points in a skill check during dialogue will display an option not as suave/competent as the one with the player having the proper amount of skill points in a given check. Unlike Fallout 3, where the check is a matter of chance and gives the same sentence whether or not the player passed a speech check, passing or failing a speech check is directly tied to skill. Insufficient skill gives the option a different sentence (Hulk Speak, some overly emotional or annoying words when failing speech check for that option, spectacularly failing at biology/electronics/other fields when failing a medicine/science check, and just plain bad ideas in other cases like Energy Weapons and Guns). Failing may also open up other options in some cases.
    • If you're wearing an NCR uniform, Lt. Haggerty at HELIOS One will figure out from the amount of blood on it that you looted it off a dead NCR soldier and will attack if you fail a speech check to convince her otherwise. Even if you didn't loot it off of a corpse.
    • In Dead Money, Honest Hearts, and Old World Blues, once you arrive at the site of the DLC's events you can't leave until you finish the DLC. In Lonesome Road however you're free to turn back at any time and retrace your steps back to the Mojave. This ties into Ulysses's Hannibal Lecture at the end of the DLC, you've been his Unwitting Pawn but you could have turned back at any time, yet you kept going because you just had to find out what his story was, and thus have only yourself to blame for what he's about to do.
    • In the opening cutscene, Benny shoots the Courier twice in the head with his custom-made gun and the Courier survives. Said gun, Maria, is present in the game, and according to Benny, Maria, and the Courier's respective ingame stats, receiving two headshots from Benny wielding Maria results in a non-lethal amount of damage.
    • If you help the Misfits in their training, you can try to see what happens if you run over to the targets when they practice using hand grenades. The explosions are almost harmless, showing that they are actually using training munitions and not risking people blowing themselves up in training.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • There's a Ranger outpost where you can find a Legion raid camp nearby, as well as Legion raiding parties spying on it from a nearby ridge. However, even if you're an NCR man, you can't warn the Rangers of the Legion presence or the raiding parties, even if you go up to and chat with the Legion raiders spying on the outpost, and when you come back later as part of a side quest, you'll find... well, suffice to say, it isn't pretty.
    • The Veteran Ranger Combat Armor (the one on the cover and all the trailers) itself. Everyone says that the special thing about them is their low-light optics... which the player cannot use until Lonesome Road with the Riot Gear and its Advanced and Elite variants with Sneak Sight. Even more galling is the fact that in the opening movie, you see a Veteran Ranger turning on his low-light optics before performing a headshot on a poor Fiend.
    • You can only use Empty Soda Bottles to make Cactus Water; you can't fill them with water from a tap to make a bottle of plain water, and you can't make Cactus Water from an empty bottle of any other drink (including soda bottles of specific brands). Even in Old World Blues, the sink you have in... The Sink home base needs to be upgraded to fill bottles. Honest Hearts adds the ability to make homebrewed Nuka-Cola, which requires an empty soda bottle, not the visually-identical empty Nuka-Cola bottle.
    • A wrench, which is used to craft a weapon repair kit, mysteriously disappears when the repair kit is used.
    • Energy Weapons are discussed as if they were fantastically rare, cutting-edge things few Wastelanders have ever seen... but Fiends and raiders throw them around like party favors. At one point, Veronica wonders how the Fiends manage to cause more trouble than the Brotherhood despite their lack of energy weapons, in the middle of wiping out a Vault full of Fiends armed to the teeth with energy weapons. Though it oddly is explained where the Fiends got them from. Also, the Fiends inside Vault 3, who are far more stable than the ones topside, also just gave the ones outside the energy weapons to deter troublemakers. Considering that the NCR Rangers, Crimson Caravan, and the Gun Runners can't even make a dent in the place, it sure seems to have worked.
    • Even though the Courier must receive special training to wear power armor, all humanoid companions (except Lily, who obviously wouldn't fit in it) can wear it, even though it only makes sense story-wise for Veronica and Arcade to have received power armor training.
    • Two endings have Gannon identified as a member of the Enclave by NCR rangers because they recognized his armor, forcing him to go on the run. The player or companions wearing Enclave armor, even that exact set of armor, warrants no response, even when you talk to veteran NCR rangers like Hanlon.
    • People throughout the Wasteland are awed to discover that the Courier survived getting shot twice in the head by Benny. Meanwhile, in actual gameplay, if the Courier only gets shot twice in the head each day, it was a light day.
    • No matter what wonders of pre-War technology the Courier gains control of in Dead Money and Old World Blues, they won't have any impact on the Second Battle of Hoover Dam except for what you use personally.
    • The Gold Bars added by Dead Money are supposedly twenty ounces of .9999 pure gold, yet they weigh 35 pounds each.
    • In Old World Blues your character has their brain removed and replaced by a Tesla coil by the Think Tank, which they have also done to several other people you can find around the research center. However, should any of these get their heads blown apart, you'll see just plain old brains in the resulting mess.
    • invoked In Lonesome Road, Ulysses presents the Tunnelers as powerful enemies capable of taking down Deathclaws in packs, an unstoppable threat that will overrun the Mojave within a few years no matter which faction ultimately takes control of it. In gameplay, they go down to a couple headshots as easily as anything else, and even in packs are nowhere near as threatening as a single Deathclaw. Fighting a surprise invasion of them wouldn't be, y'know, fun, but with sufficient warning and prep time, House's Securitrons or the NCR could make short work of them, although the Legion might have more difficulty due to their inferior equipment (less ranged weaponry to go around). Heck, Boone in a suitable vantage point (say, the top of the Lucky 38) with an Anti-Materiel Rifle and enough ammo could probably protect the entire Strip by himself. It's implied he was exaggerating their threat somewhat, since Ulysses essentially states that he can hold off the Tunnelers and Marked Men alone with his anti-materiel rifle and vantage point if you talk him down at the end of the DLC.
    • Nuking the NCR or Legion home territories in Lonesome Road has no effect on the final battle at Hoover Dam, aside from royally pissing off the factions in question (and both factions will forgive you no-questions asked if you do this before you get their Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Cards).
  • Gameplay-Guided Amnesia: Word of God has explicitly stated that the bullet to the Courier's brain did not cause amnesia, and being able to ask about things the Courier should already be fully aware of is purely there for the player's benefit.
  • Gang of Hats:
    • The Three Families of New Vegas personify different sides of the city
      • The Omertas: Personifying the sleazy side of Vegas
      • The Chairmen: Personifying the "cool" side of Vegas
      • The White Gloves: Personifying the "classy" side of Vegas.
    • The Kings, a gang of Elvis Impersonators. Uh huh.
    • Caesar's Legion and the Great Khans are modeled on The Roman Empire and the Mongols, respectively.
    • The New California Republic is heavily modeled on pre-war America.
    • Interestingly, this is all in-universe. The Omertas, Chairmen and White Gloves are all raider tribes that House persuaded to abandon their identities and embrace a Disneyland reinterpretation of Vegas, while the Kings embraced Elvis after discovering a school for Elvis Impersonators and the other factions self-consciously modeled themselves on historical countries. The Khans will even reinterpret their entire reason for being if given a history book on the Mongols.
  • Gargle Blaster:
    • Cass can make Moonshine if the Courier provides the ingredients: two mutfruits, yeast and... a fission battery.
    • Dead Money has Dean Domino's Sierra Madre martini a potent cocktail made of Cloud residue and Pre-War junk food and mixed in an old tin can before poured into a used whiskey bottle. Dean, being a 200+ year old ghoul trapped in a deadly Casino-Resort, had to make due with whatever he could, even with... this.
    • Honest Hearts also has the Wasteland tequila and the Large Wasteland tequila. Brewed from the leaves of the Nevada agave and pure water on a campfire or hotplate and made extra potent, the Large Wasteland tequila makes the drinker stronger (+3 Strength) and a bit more comfortable (+1 Charisma) but clouds the mind much more than usual drinks (-3 Intelligence) as well as add to their poison resistance (+10) and helps stop bullets (+2 Damage Threshold). As with all drinks, the Courier's Survival skills increases its potency to the point that they could beat a Super Mutant at arm wrestling (+9 Strength) but lose in a battle of wits (-9 Intelligence)! However, with Cass's "Wiskey Rose" perk removing the penalties the Courier faces when drinking a whole bottle of booze which means the Courier can break bones to their heart's content.
    • The Atomic Cocktail, a highly radioactive drink served in a rocket-shaped mixer bottle, made from a blend of vodka, Mentats and Nuka-Cola Victory. Though it lacks the other effects of alcohol, it has the benefits of resisting fire and energy damage and can alleviate sleep deprivation.
    • Old World Blues gives us the Battle Brew, a strange and potent concoction of vodka, mutant cave fungus and Salient Green. A swig of this will bolster your defense, and grants a bonus to your Action Points and strength for about twenty seconds.
  • Gas Mask, Longcoat: NCR Veteran Rangers, as depicted on the box art. It was based on the outfit of the Desert Rangers after they merged with the NCR Rangers; the original can be obtained in Honest Hearts.
    • Lonesome Road adds a different gas mask (which only covers the mouth and nose). Ulysses wears it with a sleeveless longcoat. The Pre-War Riot Gear and variants in the same DLC are the better versions of the NCR Veteran Ranger armor.
  • Gas Mask Mooks:
    • Dead Money has the ghost people, Pre-War workers of the Sierra Madre casino who were trapped in their suits by the Cloud as an experiment by The Think Tank. They've long stopped being human and became something far worse.
    • Old World Blues has the Lobotomites who,after being surgically alerted by the Think Tank until insanity, wear crude gasmasks made of goggles and respirators. They were originally meant to appear in Fallout 2 before they (and a lot of other stuff) was Dummied Out and first appeared in a loading screen in Fallout attacking the Vault Dweller in a fit of madness.
    • The NCR, Brotherhood of Steel, and Enclave Remnants have power armored troopers that are head and shoulders above the rank and file troopers the two main super powers have.
  • Gathering Steam: Miniguns need a second or two of spinning up before they start firing.
  • Gay Option: Fallout 3's male-only Lady Killer and female-only Black Widow perks are joined by the new male-only Confirmed Bachelor and female-only Cherchez la Femme. A Courier who is so inclined can take both.
  • Gender Is No Object:
    • This of course isn't the case with the Legion, and the The Tops and The Omertas on the Strip don't seem to have female goons, but everyone else plays it straight, including the horrible Fiends, the Khans, the White Legs, the NCR and the Brotherhood.
    • The New California Republic is an interesting case. Women can be found in every role within the NCR's society and military, which makes sense since probably the most influential figure in their history has been Tandi, who was female and eventually became President. And even with the more chauvinist policies under President Kimball's administration, women can still rise up the ranks with distinction; compared to the Legion, the sexism that's crept into the NCR is outright benign. You can even find posters specifically encouraging women to enlist as female soldiers constitute a symbolic middle finger to Caesar.
  • Genius Ditz:
    • The Think Tank in Old World Blues are a spectacular example. One of them is named Dr. 0 (the number), but since they can't differentiate, he gets called Dr. O (the letter). Point out that he could draw a line through it, and you'll be hailed as a visionary.
    • Klein repeatedly mistakes fingers and toes for penises. Dala can't quite understand why lobotomites occasionally attempt to wrassle each other and deposit fluids into each other, or why they are reluctant to do so while she's watching. All of them keep forgetting that you're sapient and talk around you like you're a pet.
    • You can evolve your low-intelligence character into a Genius Ditz if you spend your skill points in the right categories like Science or Medicine, resulting in a character that has a very low IQ but is surprisingly talented in their fields of interest.
  • Genius Loci: In Old World Blues, the epilogue for the Big MT mentions some of the facilities as well, which are apparently sentient in their own way (not that you get much indication of this in the game itself).
  • Genre Blindness: Dr. Hildern, director of the eastern NCR Office of Science and Industry exhibits this: when telling him about the potential dangers (meaning here a disease that would make feral ghouls look harmless) of data you recovered, he puts you off saying that they are the government, not some insane vault alchemists. Seeing how the world of Fallout follows the rules of 50's B-Movies (radiation turns scorpions giant, and genetic engineering turns venus flytraps into semi-animal hunters) you can pretty much expect that some experiment based on that data will soon wreak havoc in an NCR-facility near you!
  • Genre Shift:
    • Dead Money strips you of all your equipment and money, and throws you into a hostile, poisonous environment full of deadly gas clouds, enemies that need to be dismembered to be killed, loads of booby traps, untouchable laser-firing holograms that must be outwitted rather than fought, and all with very limited resources. The "limited resources" part especially makes this add-on seem like the game has become a Survival Horror title.
    • Honest Hearts dumps you into a canyon full of greenery and wildlife, which is just plain shocking compared to most of the rest of the series. The primary conflict is between tribal natives, something that's been out of focus since Fallout 2.
    • Old World Blues is a decidedly silly adventure that plops you in the center of a Wide Open Sandbox full of Mad Science gone awry, presided by goofy brains in jars (when the quest called it a midnight science fiction feature, they weren't kidding). There is an objective to fulfill, but it's completely secondary to just running around, discovering stuff to upgrade your home with.
    • Lonesome Road takes place in one of the most devastated areas ever seen in the series, but the Genre Shift comes from the fact that your path through most of it is entirely linear, with only a few side-areas to explore.
  • Gentle Giant: Mean Sonofabitch, a super mutant living in Westside, is rather amicable and polite. Good luck understanding what he says, though.
    • Marcus and Neil, both of them also super mutants hailing from Jacobstown, are also pretty friendly. The latter can even help you get safely to Black Mountain if you pass a Speech check.
  • "Get out of Jail Free" Card: Both the Legion and the NCR will for one time only grant you amnesty for all previous aggressions against them if you go to work for them. This is mostly so that the player cannot too easily lock themselves out of one or two of the possible endings in the first half of the game.
  • Ghibli Hills: Zion National Park is a natural preserve largely free of the desolation seen elsewhere, thanks to the lack of bombs falling in the area. This is in stark contrast to Point Lookout, which also escaped the Great War intact but degenerated into decrepit swamp.
  • GIS Syndrome: The very first result for "happy face" is used for Yes Man's avatar.
  • Gladiator Games: A male Courier can fight slaves or prisoners in the Legion arena. Also, while you can just bet for the outcome of the monster fights in The Thorn, you can get better rewards if you come down and fight the creatures alone in the arena.
  • Global Currency: Unusually for the series, this trope is played with back and forth between this and Global Currency Exception.
    • The game has three types of currency: bottle caps, NCR dollars, and Legion coins. All three are recognized as legal tender in most locations, and can be traded in for chips individually at casinos. The game recognizes caps as the actual money system though, and NCR dollars and Legion coin are miscellaneous items that can be traded as such, with an appropriate exchange rate represented by their value in caps. The reason for the three types of currency is given in-game: NCR switched to paper money between this game and Fallout 2, but the Brotherhood of Steel destroyed their gold reserves during the war, causing their currency to become so-devalued with no gold standard to back it up that bottle caps emerged as the dominant currency again, while Legion coin is recognized due to the safety of their trade routes and the fact actual silver and gold are used to mint the coins.
    • Curiously, the game makes no distinction between Nuka-Cola caps and Sunset Sarsaparilla caps, drinking either drink just adds a generic bottle cap to your inventory.
    • Dead Money is the exception, no caps are to be found in the Sierra Madre. Instead, you use Sierra Madre chips (for vending machines) and Pre-War Money (for holographic vendors, who are still programmed to accept it). Justified in that the Sierra Madre runs on old world equipment, and that the chips themselves are actually transmuted by the vending machine into the goods that you purchase.
    • Old World Blues, the Sink vendors accept caps because of a debug program in their systems that make them think bottle caps are coins, and its designer spent time speculating on what type of currency a post-war economy would use and thought bottle caps would work.
    • Lonesome Road, the dispensing machines accept caps, and an email you find in the area says this is a system glitch they have to fix. Curiously, both these machines and the Sink mentioned above also pay you back in caps somehow.
    • The Boomers of Nellis Air Force Base will refuse to trade with you until you have a high enough reputation, the reasoning being they don't trade with outsiders so what good is currency to them?
  • Glowing Flora: Most of the caves in the game are filled with glowing, apparently radioactive fungus.
  • God-Emperor: Doctor Borous in Old World Blues proclaims himself as the immortal god-principal of the high school mock-up testing facility
  • God Guise: Randall Clark, a survivalist living in Zion area, took to helping a group of stranded kids living nearby while trying not to be noticed (he drops medicines, food and tools near their camp at night). When he notices that the kids see his help as the gift from God or angels, he doesn't want to break this illusion and show himself as a dying old man. Shortly before his death he leaves the notes stating that he has to depart deep into the mountains, but he will always be watching over them. The kids were ancestors of the Sorrows tribe and Clark is "the Father in the Cave" from their legends as mentioned by Waking Cloud.
  • Golden Ending: The path there zigzags a lot, but there is one for NCR, House, and Yes Man's respective questlines, where every good faction to know peace and prosperity, and every evil faction to either reform or be brought to justice. How "golden" the endings are depends on which quests you completed, how, and which questline you followed to the end, but in each of those three there is some measure of good to be had in each ending slide. The catch is that all of these golden endings at some point require the player to do some morally questionable things, but the endings may put players at ease that ultimately it did benefit the greater good.
  • Golf Clubbing: There are 9-iron golf clubs around, with the VATS "Fore" attack that aim for one particular region. In Gun Runner's Arsenal there's an achievement for killing Mr. House with a golf club, titled "A Slave Obeys"
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The Courier can invoke this at the end battle by doing enough favors for the smaller factions along the way. It's possible to, for example, fight alongside the NCR against the Legion with the Boomers, Great Khans, Brotherhood of Steel, and even the leftovers of the Enclave backing you up and still betray the NCR with your secret army of securitrons.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Dead Money has a minor instance with Cosmic Knives, kitchen knives with blades made of space-age alloy which would never require sharpening. Unfortunately they are this to the point of being an Absurdly Sharp Blade, and the notes you find mention kitchen staff accidentally slicing their own hands open all the time and the knives going right through the cutting boards they were using. Since they never require sharpening, that means they never dull to more manageable levels. They make great weapons for the Courier, and merely cleaning one will boost its damage considerably.
  • Gonk: Grecks, a ghoul with a lazy eye. In order to achieve this he has a really...odd mesh. Just don't comment on it.
  • Good All Along: At least, "Morally responsible" all along... Doctor Mobius knows all too well that if left unchecked, the Think Tank would expand into the outside world and continue to do science experiments on everything just for that very reason. He erected "The Fence" to keep them from learning that the outside world exists, reprogrammed them to loop their daily activities over and over again, and programmed his roboscorpions to broadcast his "evil threats" to keep them occupied. He admits he was hopped up on Psycho when he did that last one. The presence of a Lobotomite who can still think for himself and reacquire his own transplanted brain would break that loop, with them figuring out a way to escape from Big MT by transplanting their own brains into lobotomites.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The player, if played as a strictly good character, still kills his share of characters and is generally a badass.
  • Good Pays Better: There are a lot of opportunities to do both good things and evil things, and there are rewards for both. However, there is a general trend of higher rewards for more effort and often times the evil route is a shortcut with limited rewards while the good route is more rewarding in the long term.
    • In the Old World Blues expansion several optional side quest to aid members of the Think Tank will result in an easy way to end the expansion without bloodshed. If you do you can continue to take advantage of the extra caps, magazines, and energy cell they give you every day whenever you go back to The Sink.
    • Helping the Brotherhood of Steel with their internal conflicts will net you power armor training, something you would otherwise not be able to get until much later in the game.
    • Increasing your Freeside rep by helping The Kings or The Followers will result in members of The Kings periodically approaching you and giving you free stuff.
    • Increasing your rep with any major town will result in better prices at their stores. The best way to do this is to go out of your way to help people in that town (defending Godsprings from the Powder Gangers, getting a new sheriff for Primm, etc). In contrast the evil option would be to just murder everyone. This will allow you to loot the place, but deny you the additional merchants, which can be more harmful in the long run.
    • Increasing your rep with the Followers of the Apocalypse will first get you some free healing items every day, and later get you an honorary membership which gains you access to their safe house. You do this by helping them provide aid to the people of Freeside, cleaning up drug addicts, fetching medicine, helping refugees, and other act of humanitarianism.
    • In Quarry Junction a man will straight up pay you after the fact if you fix the town's pet mole rat’s leg and/ or fix their generator. The evil option (killing the mole rat and wrecking the generator) will only net you mole rat meat and scrap.
    • In Honest Hearts, killing or hostilizing any friendly NPC's triggers "Chaos in Zion" and forces you into a shorter alternate quest, denying you any of the rewards or achievments earned from the normal path.
  • Gorn: Bloody Mess; you don't have to have the perk to blow body parts off of people with a killing blow or mutilate a corpse after the fact, but it makes it happen more often.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Star Caps, Snowglobes, Companions...
    • In-universe, even. People are willing to kill for more Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottlecaps. Just rumor there's treasure out there, and Gold Fever (or 100% Completion fever) will take hold of people. It's a shame that the fabled prize is absolutely worthless. You do get a powerful unique laser pistol for finishing, courtesy of your rival collector's suffocated corpse.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Caesar's Legion uses a lot of Latin. Latin names, ranks, currency, uniforms, punishments, etc. You can even use it for a small side-quest against a captured Legion Centurion POW that the NCR captured, provided your Intelligence is high enough. They're also pronounced correctly (for example, Caesar is pronounced "kai-sar" instead of "see-zur").
  • Gray-and-Grey Morality: NCR and Mr. House both plan to drive each other out of New Vegas. Neither of them are any more villainous or altruistic than the other.
    • This occurs everywhere, the point of being a major theme of the game. Besides the fact that each of the main story branches are all morally grey in their own way, oftentimes sidequests and companion quests are murky, with no clear-cut right or wrong answers. Getting a Golden Ending for one companion or faction—if such a thing is even possible; often it isn't—can easily mean screwing over another equally amiable and nice individual/faction. The only exception is when groups like the Legion and the Fiends are involved, in which case literally any other party looks preferable.
  • Greed: The main theme of Dead Money. All of the characters involved have been consumed by greed of one sort or another, and the mythical treasure of the Sierra Madre drives prospectors insane with it.
  • Grenade Tag: Reverse pickpocketing grenades.
    • You can also prank the prankster at McCarran. He thinks the idea of pulling the pin out of a grenade someone's carrying is hilarious and "would love to see the look on their face" when it happens. He doesn't even realize he's the target before he's blown into chunks.
    • Try reverse pickpocketing a Fat Mine into somebody's pants. It'll be fun!
  • Groin Attack: A few:
    • There are 9-iron golf clubs around, with the VATS "Fore" attack that aim for one particular region.
    • From the Old World Blues DLC: You can find a skeleton with a large unexploded artillery shell between their legs. Critical groin attack, indeed.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Some of the things you can do with a high enough sneak skill qualify as this. You can, for example, massacre an entire Legion camp without them ever making the connection between the large number of corpses with bullet holes in the back of their skulls and the 'profligate' with the silenced sniper rifle. The same Legion soldiers (not the officers, though) that won't bat an eye to the female 'legionary' carrying a laser rifle walking in front of them despite their consideration of women and advanced technology.
    • Likewise, the casino greeters on the Strip will confiscate your weapons when you enter, but will miss some of them. A Sneak skill below 50 will allow you to keep small weapons like switchblades, straight razors or compact pistols. Above 50, you can keep things like high-caliber revolvers, knives and Power Fists. Are those greeters blind or is the Courier very talented at hiding stuff?
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The companion quests. Let's run down the list, shall we?
    1. Arcade's quest, "For Auld Lang Syne," requires you to find certain locations in the game and visit them, at which point he'll speak to you briefly. This one is actually fairly lenient, since the triggers are always there and fairly numerous. You also only need five "points" for it to count, and there are about twenty total based on location and dialogue choices.
    2. Boone's is similar, but both easier and more difficult. His dialogue isn't automatic most of the time, so you don't really know you're doing it right. The only ones which you can really be sure of are Legion outposts, which are automatic triggers. A plus is that if you take him to Cottonwood Cove and that the Fort (before or after killing Caesar, it still counts), you'll get four of the five points at once. But unlike the other companions whose quest you have to coax out over time, there's a finite limit on opportunities to earn points with him, so if you've missed them all you're out of luck.
    3. Raul's is hands down the worst of the bunch. Unlike the other companions where you have several possibilities to get them to open us, you have to talk to three specific old people in the wastes with him as your companion. This is really inexcusable because one of the three simply won't talk to you if you don't follow a very specific path of dialogue with him, and he's sometimes bugged so even if you do it right it may not be counted. But it could be worse... at least if you've met these characters before, you can revisit their conversations to prompt a response from Raul. Apparently it was originally impossible for the quest to proceed if you talked to any of these people before storming the mutant-infested mountain where he is being held.
    4. Cass takes a while to even unlock as a companion due to her tie-in quest that requires you to trek all the way to Vegas, but after that she has the easiest one since it's available from the start. However, it will ruin another quest if you complete it.
    5. Veronica's quest is similar to the first two, except buggy as hell. There are nine places in the wastes where you can bring her in order to trigger dialogue. Of these nine, only four are permanent (the remaining five are lines of dialogue from the first time you meet the NPC). Assuming you even know where to look, Veronica may take days to finally remember she's supposed to say something, so you can't trigger the quest until she finally decides to do it. It seems to work better if you meet her request for a dress first, but that in itself is Guide Dang It! because the type of dress she wants is the kind worn by the White Glove Society, and you have to kill or reverse-pickpocket a member to get one if you don't follow a specific line in the quest. Not to mention that obtaining either one of the two weapons in the quest will force start the quest, but in a way that they can't be completed even when completed, since you still have unfinished business earlier in the quest.
    6. Lily's quest is fairly simple. It's not even a quest, really. You just have to stick with her long enough to get to the bottom of her psychosis (it only takes about an in-game day if you get into a fight where she goes berserk), then decide how much medicine she should take. The only problem you may have is the "going berserk" part, as that requires Lily's health being reduced below half, which depending on your playstyle may never happen.
    7. ED-E's quest doesn't require you to do anything, but is still annoying. After the first trigger goes off, which conveniently has a waypoint, you have to wait nine days for the second to work. Then you have to find someone who can activate the trigger, and you don't get any clues. The third takes another three days, but is automatic. If you're not playing in hardcore mode (and therefore have no need to sleep 8 hours a day) you could easily finish the game without getting to the final part.
    8. The final one is Rex, and he's the easiest since his quest is given to you before you even recruit him.
    • For something simpler and earlier, there's the quest "I Fought the Law," which most good-inclined players will miss because they're likely to side against the Powder Gangers from the start, and because the inhabitants of the NCRCF will be hostile to them, making them likely to kill Eddie and immediately fail the quest. Or one might kill him because he's got a plasma pistol. Then again, the quest is bugged and leads to a bad ending even when it should be a good one, so that's for the better, really. Additionally, if you want the NCR to retake the prison, you have to work for the Powder Gangers until you're told to investigate the NCR's plans, then you have to switch sides and betray Eddie and help NCR attack the compound. Just waltzing into the compound and gunning down everyone yourself, which you're liable to do because again, you probably made an enemy of the Powder Gangers, denies you the option to just turn over the empty prison to NCR when you're done.
    • Dean Domino from Dead Money is arguably the worst of the lot, as getting him to not turn on you is downright contrary to the very logic of the game, though it does make sense from a character perspective. Why? In the very first conversation with him, you come to a choice between a Barter skill check and a normal dialogue choice. Almost any player will obviously pick the Barter choice if at all possible because skill-requiring answers are (and should be) superior to the ones available to all characters. However, in this case picking this choice will make it impossible to get him to side with you inside the Sierra Madre. Made even more egregious by the fact that the Barter dialogue choice is simply informing Dean that he isn't bargaining from a position of power because your collars (and thus lives) are linked and he basically doesn't have a choice but to work with you... which is precisely the truth!
    • Also in Dead Money, the challenge "The Whole Sad Story" requires you to learn how each of the four other characters in the DLC got to the Sierra Madre. For Elijah, Christine, and Dean, you just have to be sure to exhaust all dialogue with them. Getting Dog/God's part however, the conversation path is only available to your character if you have less than 4 Intelligence. Good luck figuring that out without looking it up. And if your character has high intelligence, lowering it that much is a challenge in itself.note 
    • The quest "I Put a Spell on You" is almost legendary for its unintuitive nature, aside from a plethora of bugs. Long story short, there's a spy somewhere in Camp McCarran, and you've been tasked to single him out. After finding out there have been late-night sightings at the comm tower, you have two mission arrows: one to the comm tower, and another to the man you're working with, Captain Curtis. Since Curtis is the spy, talking to Curtis and telling him your lead makes the mission practically unwinnable, since he will attack you in the tower instead of radioing his contact, thus you won't know if he will bomb the monorail. There is no hint that doing this was wrong, and there is no way other than using the console to set the winning value back to 0. Ergo, by following the directions you have failed the quest. You could still side with the Legion, in which case you do the same quest, but instead are helping Curtis out in his plot to bomb the monorail. This is arguably the better path, as not only is it relatively easy, if done right it gets you an exploit for infinite caps. But if you start along that path, you're committed to bombing the monorail as soon as you collect the bomb. Want to play the Legion version of the quest? You can't be too hated by the NCR, because Curtis is coded as a Ranger, and will see through your NCR disguise and attack you just like any other NCR Ranger, even though he's a Legion spy. This makes it impossible to talk to him.
    • The Heave Ho! perk has a hidden effect that makes it much more useful than it initially sounds - it doesn't just boost the velocity and range of thrown weapons by 50%, it gives the same boost to all weapons that fire in an arc. This is not even remotely implied by the description, name, or icon for the perk and means that it's a huge boon to any explosives-heavy build, not just ones that depend on actually throwing grenades (or spears).
  • Guile Hero: A viable option for the player character. Having a decent speech skill opens up options in numerous quests.
  • Gun Accessories: Unlike the previous game, this alone will make you think twice before using the unique versions of some weapons which have better stats but cannot be modded.
    • Then again, some like the Ratslayer are more or less fully-modded versions of the base weapon along with a bonus or two tacked on.
  • Gun Porn:
    • Vault 34.
    • The Boomer's Armory
    • The Gun Runners' Arsenal DLC adds a whole lot more weapons in the game. Enjoy.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
    • Inverted. In the main game, your male companions are a Cold Sniper, The Gunslinger, and a Badass Bookworm who, like all fictional smart people (and former members of the Enclave), prefers a high-tech Plasma Defender pistol over the ballistics, blades, and blunt force of the common rabble. Your female companions are a Nightkin with a BFS, a hard-drinking caravaneer with a Short-Range Shotgun, and a Brotherhood Scribe who wields a Power Fist. Everybody has a ranged and a melee weapon that you can order them to use, so you are welcome to have everyone play the trope straight, even if they won't be that good at it.
    • Even Cass, your shotgun-toting, whiskey-drinking female compatriot flat out tells you that she prefers solving problems with her fists than her guns. When you tell her to switch to melee skills, she simply puts the shotgun away and punches her way out of combat.

  • Hair-Trigger Sound Effect: The Mysterious Stranger is ALWAYS accompanied by his mysterious guitar riff. The Mysterious Magnum gets the same riff when unholstered.
  • Half-Truth: Elijah says that if you help him break into the Sierra Madre he'll let you go, along with all of your partners. He's planning to kill you all, of course, but he is letting you go from his control that way, nonetheless.
  • Hand Cannon:
    • The .44 Magnum Revolver, 12.7mm Pistol, the Hunting Revolver and its unique version, the Ranger Sequoia. There are also the energy weapons Plasma Defender and "Pew Pew." (Yes.) Then there's the handauto-cannon, the 12.7mm sub-machine gun.
    • In the vanilla game, there is That Gun, an Expy of Rick Deckard's gun—a five-shot speed-loaded revolver firing full-size rifle rounds, the same as those fired by the varmint rifle, service rifle, and light machine gun. Before its damage was Nerfed, it was a go-to gun in spite of its weight, especially since it was easy to acquire, ammo was plentiful, and it was the only handgun that could explicitly load armor-piercing rounds. (Even after the nerf, it remains a Disc-One Nuke if combined with the "Cowboy" perk, and can remain a sidearm/backup weapon deep into the game.)
    • Old World Blues adds the Sonic Emitter. Initially its none too exciting and reasonably useful, but as you upgrade it with better soundwave samples it gets better and better special effects for critical hits, the ultimate one causing explosions.
    • The Ballistic Fist plays with this trope in a more literal manner: It's a gun grafted to a Power Fist that goes off when you punch someone.
  • A Handful for an Eye: The special unarmed move, Khan Trick, allows the Courier to scoop up dust and fling it into their enemy's eyes. This, however, doesn't work unless the player is on dirt or sand.
  • Hand Wave:
    • The makers of Dead Money must have wristlash. Any element not contrived was explicitly described as "unknown" or "unexplained" in Loading Screen tips and in-game materials, although the Old World Blues add-on does explain a few things. In particular, how the Sierra Madre casino transports people around in it is totally unexplained (teleportation? robot hands popping out of the ceiling? Who knows?).
    • Played for laughs in Old World Blues: the Think Tank explain that the Courier is able to move, think, and act consciously without a brain because "tesla coils" were inserted into their skull. Trying to further the line of questioning just exasperates them.
    • The description for the Jury Rigging perk, which among other things allows you to repair Displacer Gloves with brass knuckles and mechanical Super Sledges with pool cues, ends with the phrase "How does it work? Nobody knows... except you."
  • Hard-Coded Hostility: Raiders like the Jackals, Vipers, Scorpions, and Fiendsnote  are not affected by reputation and will attack you on sight no matter what. Other "criminal" groups, such as the Powder Gangers and Great Khans, are not permanently hostile factions (siding with them is often unsavory, but it is possible). The vicious White Legs tribe in the Honest Hearts DLC also attack outsiders on sight, and the non-feral ghoul survivors of the Little Yangtze Chinese internment camp in Old World Blues are too traumatized by the heinous experiments performed on them by Big MT and later Father Elijah to talk to visitors, sadly meaning you'll probably have to kill them.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Cass aka "Whiskey Rose" and the Courier herself if you feel so inclined.
  • Hard Light: The Holorifle in Dead Money is essentially a hard light gun. There is a hidden value in the GECK called "Kill Impulse", which is the physics force exerted on a freshly killed target as ragdoll effects take over the decedent's animation rig. Lasers have a kill impulse of 0. The Holorifle has a kill impulse of 15.
  • Hazmat Suit:
    • The Radiation Suit, which you pull off a radioactive corpse. The previous owner was unaware that rad suits barely protect against irradiation (one of the few aspects of IRL nuclear physics that wasn't pushed through Rule of Fun).
    • The Ghost People from Dead Money wear experimental hazmat suits that got fused to their bodies from prolonged exposure to The Cloud. In Old World Blues, you can even find a "Hazmat Suit" (essentially the same model as the Ghost People wear), which provides exceptional poison resistance and nightvision.
    • Powered Armor has a lead lining and an air filter in it, invoking this.
  • Healing Factor: Several perks. Solar Powered makes you heal gradually, but only outdoors during daytime, and not at a rate useful for combat. Monocyte Breeder implants heal all the time, but again not at any rate useful in combat, and at the price tag of 12,000 caps and taking up an implant slot (which are limited in number to your Endurance stat). Rad Child heals with varying rates dependent on your radiation poisoning level. Highest level heals at an astounding 8 HP/s, but at the cost of pretty hefty hits to your SPECIAL stats.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • Feral ghouls, who let out an unnerving screech when they detect the player; it's more noticeable in the REPCONN Test Site and especially in Vault 34, and exploring these places can have a low-level player constantly turning around and checking their compass.
    • The security klaxons in the REPCONN HQ are easy to set off, and hard to stop. Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk!
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • In Dead Money, there's Christine, who's in the middle of her own tragic saga to hunt down Elijah when the Courier finds her.
    • Also, Honest Hearts in essence has the Courier entering the tail end of Joshua Graham's story.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: It's possible to end the game with good karma and ridiculously low reputation with pretty much every faction, including the one you're working for.
  • Hidden Elf Village:
    • The Hidden Valley Bunker, Nellis Air Force Base, and Jacobstown, all of which are home to very powerful groups (Brotherhood of Steel, Boomers, and Super Mutants, respectively) who choose to isolate themselves from the rest of the Wasteland. By overwhelming force, in the first two cases.
    • The Sierra Madre Casino in Dead Money was intended to be one; Frederick Sinclair designed it as a place where he, his girlfriend, and his closest friends could ride out the coming nuclear war and the worst of the aftermath in peace and comfort. Unfortunately, in order to get financing and the advanced technology he needed, he had to allow the Mad Scientists at Big MT to use the casino as a proving ground for some of their experiments. Those inhabitants who didn't die in the Great War were subsequently poisoned by the Cloud or transformed into marauding Ghost People.
    • The Big MT itself is one. In addition to being home to the Think Tank and a plethora of experimental marvels, it's been isolated from the outside world for over two centuries.
  • Hide Your Children: Downplayed in the main game, where some (albeit unkillable) children do appear, mostly in Nellis AFB and Freeside. Invoked in all four DLCs, though this is addressed in the only add-on where their absence is noteworthy. (The Dead Horse and Sorrows tribes of Honest Hearts have already begun to evacuate, sending the children and elderly first. The other three DLCs take place in dangerous hellholes that don't have an actual community of humans living in them, thus the lack of children makes sense).
  • High-Class Gloves: The White Glove Society wear gloves and certainly give the impression of being "high class" with their fancy outfits and upper-class demeanor, particularly in contrast to the fities-styled "Chairmen" and the mobster-styled Omertas. It turns out that this is partly an act that Mr. House forced them into, and that the White Gloves are using it to cover up their past as cannibals.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: The game has an area in the futuristic Old World Blues DLC called the X-66 Hexcrete Archipelago, consisting of massive hexagonal structures made of concrete. Appropriately, they do nothing in the game other than look cool.
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • The real-life Nipton was primarily important as a place where state lotteries were held during the early 20th century. The Fallout Nipton has an important lottery too...
    • The poster I Hate Nate in Vault 11 is a pun on the I Like Ike slogan from 1952 presidential campaign.
    • Arcade's ending for a Legion victory if you leave Arcade as Caesar's personal physician references the death of Cato the Younger, who also disemboweled himself rather than submit to Caesar.
    • The challenge "Historical Propriety" requires you to reenact the Ides of March by killing Caesar with a knife. If you bring Arcade to the Fort and tell him this is your plan, he will likewise "commend you on your sense of historical propriety".
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: In-universe example. One of the first casinos you find, in Primm, is home to a historical gallery of a couple of Bonnie and Clyde knockoffs who were more prone to cashing bad checks than holding up banks and whose greatest claim to fame was being killed accidentally by cops shooting at bank robbers.
  • Hollywood Density: The gold bars in Dead Money play with this. There are 37 bars, each worth 10,439 caps but weighing 35 pounds. You're under a strict time limit to escape with whatever you can carry, and if you carry more than your encumbrance limit, you move far too slowly to make it out. If a player wanted to take all the bars—a total of 382,913 caps, enough that you'd basically never need money again—s/he would be carrying 1,295 pounds. The highest possible carry weight a player could have (i.e. max Strength and various Perks) is 375 pounds, so a player could only carry 10 of the bars at most without being over-encumbered, and they'd have to drop everything they were already carrying. While it is indeed legitimately possible to barely escape with everything in the vault, savvy players have found a way to exploit the game for a much easier getaway. Kill Elijah and make sure to decapitate him. Then, load the gold into his inventory and use the "pick up" key to carry his decapitated head to the exit, still allowing the player to move quickly enough to make it out in time. Just before leaving, access Elijah's inventory via his head and take all the gold.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Guns equipped with silencers make the "fwip" noise and the silencers themselves are, for all intents and purposes, a metal tube stuck onto the end of the gun. Averted in that silencers are specific to different firearms and that none are available for shotguns or revolvers, are all permanent attachments (meaning they cannot be removed once attached), and aren't completely silent (shooting and missing someone may get you noticed). In addition, there are guns in-game that come with integral silencers, like the .22 silenced pistol and SMG.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This happens a lot in this game:
    • "Talk About Being Owned" challenge in the Gun Runners Arsenal DLC require you to shoot Benny in the head with his own pistol, and being a dinky 9mm, it's going to take some time.
    • Old World Blues: Dr. Mobius implanted the interest in the three technologies in the Think Tank so they (or rather you) would gather them and bring them to him, so they couldn't use them to leave the Big MT but resulted in the Think Tank obtaining their designs and getting closer than ever to escaping.
    • Lonesome Road: if you manage to settle things peacefully with Ulysses, he is forced to aid you in fighting off the army of Marked Men he originally set upon the temple to finish you off, in case he himself wouldn't succeed in killing you.
    • The final battle for Hoover Dam: you can have the Boomers bomb the NCR forces on your orders, when NCR Ambassador Crocker was the one who first instructed you to go make contact with the Boomers, and probably up until that very moment thought you had secured their support for the Republic's side.
    • Dead Money: Before the war, Sinclair attempted to trap Dean and Vera in the vault, but after Vera confessed to him, he changed his mind and attempted to disarm the trap, but succumbed to the poison gas cloud that was also intended to protect the casino. Elijah attempts to lure the Courier into the same trap, but if you sneak out before he comes downstairs, he will be the one trapped. Alternately, you can sabotage his sentry guns to shoot him instead.
    • To you yourself: Yeah, sure, put that mini nuke mine into that guy's pants. Won't it be hilarious when it blows?
  • Homage: Dead Money to the The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and it's not exactly subtle about it either as the hotel & casino is called The Sierra Madre.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • With high enough karma and speech skill you can convince Legate Lanius to call off the other legionnaires and fight you by himself. However, whichever allies and companions you have with you will keep shooting anyway.
    • Deconstructed with the Brotherhood of Steel (the original West Coast variant portrayed in this game). At the end of Veronica's personal quest, when you show McNamara proof that the Brotherhood is dying/a method of self-sufficiency, etc., he won't change anything. Why? Because the codex says he can't. Judging from his speech and sighing he knows it's stupid, but he has his orders.
      Veronica: We'll die out.
      McNamara: *sigh* I know.
  • Hot-Blooded: A trait in Old World Blues makes you this, increasing your damage but reducing Perception and Agility while at low health.
  • How We Got Here: Expect to spend most of the first leg of the story missions just figuring out what the hell led up to you delivering a platinum chip that was worth being ambushed and shot over.
  • Hulk Speak: Much to the delight of old-school fans, this is back in, if you set your intelligence REALLY low. Also Dog/God when he's in Dog mode.
  • Humiliation Conga: A particularly brutal one happens to the White Legs, should you choose to exterminate them in the final quest of Honest Hearts. Whatever's left of them, still blind with devotion to Caesar, attempt to crush the remaining New Canaanites. The New Canaanites ambushed and destroyed them with ease, now that they were prepared. What's left of the White Legs after that were promptly hunted down by the Dead Horses, and whatever was left of them after that were exterminated by a rival tribe, the 80s with ease. And then shortly afterward? Thanks to the Sorrows and Dead Horses, the 80's raiders were wiped out as well.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • Benny's Pre-Mortem One-Liner at the start of the game is chock-full of gambling puns. "An 18-karat run of bad luck" indeed.
    • Most of the King and Pacer's dialogue is made up of Elvis puns of varying fame and obscurity. Even if you've yet to meet him in person, there's the statement from the King that Mr. New Vegas reads on the air:
      Mr. New Vegas: The leader of the Kings, who would only identify himself as "The King", voiced his displeasure, calling NCR citizens, quote, "the Devil in Disguise." He added he didn't want to see the NCR in the ghetto, and called for a mass, quote, "return to sender."
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: All the guns and ammo you can carry. Made even funnier with mods that make you completely naked when not wearing some kind of armor (instead of the usual game coded underwear). Just where are you keeping all your guns and knives and ammo and food and water and other odds and ends when you're completely naked?
  • Hypocrite: Caesar's Legion gets a ton of this:
    • One of their guiding principles is that reliance on technology makes people weak. In the Legion, any medicine more advanced than tribal healing powder is forbidden, and thousands of people die due to lack of proper medical care; this fine in the Legion as it's argued if you can't survive on your own merit, you don't deserve to live anyway. However, Caesar is terminally ill and has a broken Auto-Doc in his tent, and commands the Courier to fix it so he can cure himself of his brain tumour. Also, what differentiates their Elite Mooks from the rank-and-file fodder is their access to more advanced guns and melee weapons; Centurions often wield things like Chainsaws and Anti-Materiel Rifles. Did we mention that Caesar himself uses a Displacer Glove?
    • Drugs are officially banned in the Legion. However, dead Legionnaires will often have Hydra on them, and they sponsor the Khans' drugs lab.
    • They preach the importance of loyalty while constantly betraying and forcibly assimilating their allies once they've outlived their usefulness.
    • Everyone from the highest member to the lowliest Legionnaire must prove their worth by their own personal strength. If you kill Vulpes Inculta, however, they send assassin squads after you to try and avenge him. Like many villains who preach "survival of the fittest", they don't really seem to believe in it and just use it as a flimsy excuse for their Jerkass behaviour.


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