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I used to leave it outside his dog house, chock-full of chems. Before the cybernetic modifications, of course.— Borous, referencing Gabe's bowl

A Brain's Best Friend is a side quest in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Old World Blues.

Quick walkthrough[]

Side Quest: A Brain's Best Friend 
Try to find a trace of Gabe in Higgs Village
Find Gabe's bowl behind Dr. Borous' former house. 
Kill Gabe in the X-8 research center
Return to Dr. Borous. 
Reward: Variable XP 
Leads to: X-8: High School Horror! 

Detailed walkthrough[]

To begin the quest, enter The Think Tank and initiate dialogue with Dr. Borous. Following all speech paths, Dr. Borous will mention his pet dog, Gabe, and the experiments inflicted upon Gabe. After this talk with the doctor, head over to Higgs Village, which is in the south of Big MT. When the Courier first enters, the objective is the house to the left on the far corner; House #103. Behind the house is a doghouse with the letters "GABE" spelled out below it on a mat. Gabe's bowl is also on the mat, which the Courier must take.

With the Wild Wasteland trait, a unique miniature deathclaw named Stripe will be inside the doghouse. His name will be shown on the doghouse, and the letters from Gabe's name will be scattered on the ground. Stripe has the melee damage and health of a full sized deathclaw alpha male. He will only pursue the Courier to just near the fountain, then run back behind the house. Stripe will also appear after this quest has been completed if the Wild Wasteland trait is acquired through Sink Auto-Doc after retrieving Gabe's bowl. Additionally, a "chicken leg" will appear at the door of the doghouse.

The Courier should then proceed to the X-8 research center and go through the main quest line for this area, X-8: High School Horror!, until they reach the Residential Test Facility portion of the quest. After activating the Residential test, the Courier will encounter a simulation of a house with a garden, and a unique cyberdog named Gabe will be patrolling the area. The digging areas must be searched, which will have quest markers pointing to them, until an audio sample called "Gabriel's bark" is found. Dr. Borous will be grateful if Gabe is not killed, although utilizing proper dialogue when speaking to Dr. Borous will result in positive responses even if he is killed. Once the Courier finds the audio tape, some robo-scorpions will appear and proceed to attack Gabe. It is possible to save him, but the player must act quickly. Even if Gabe is saved from the robo-scorpions, he will still remain hostile.

When the Courier returns to Dr. Borous and gives him the dog bowl, he will reminisce about his dog and thank the Courier for killing Gabe, as he believes it saved him the trouble. If Gabe is kept alive, Dr. Borous will thank the Courier for sparing him. For Dr. Borous to feel remorse for the horrid experimentation he did on Gabe, a Speech check of 45 must be passed or a dialogue option granted by the Animal Friend perk.

Quest stages[]

10 Try to find any trace of Gabe in Higgs Village.
20 See if you can find more evidence of Gabe in X-8.
30Quest finishedReturn Gabe's Bowl to Dr. Borous.


  • Gabe's corpse explodes about 10 seconds after his death (the actual time is longer than 10 seconds, due to dialogue). However, his corpse can still be looted after the explosion.
  • This quest can be started before talking to Dr. Borous by picking up Gabe's bowl while in Higgs Village.
  • If the Courier suggests to Dr. Klein that he consult his colleagues when confronting the Think Tank near the end of the add-on's main quest line, completing this quest and causing Dr. Borous to feel guilty over Gabe will incline him to vouch for them.
  • If Dr. Borous was caused to feel guilty over the treatment of Gabe, the Courier may return, each 24 hours thereafter, to ask Dr. Borous about torturing creatures, Dr. Borous will insist it is "research" and give the Courier assorted items dropped from dead cazadores and night stalkers.
  • This is one of the quests that can help peacefully end the quest Old World Blues and keep the think tanks alive.
  • The game code contains dialogue suggesting this quest could end positively or negatively depending on whether Gabe dies or not (Borous will give the Courier animal eggs instead of dissected parts, and his dialogue when taking the Courier's side is noble and kind), but this appears to be bugged or dummied out.
  • The quest reward from Borous becomes eggs instead of blood if the Courier speaks of Gabe as a mere test subject; this will cause Borous to feel guilty and change his ways. Upon speaking to him every 24 hours thereafter, he will have gained a much "cheerier" personality and will present the Courier with the eggs. Borous will also have different dialogue during the finale. The Courier will need the Animal Friend perk to get him to talk negatively of Gabe.

Behind the scenes[]

The quest name comes from the common phrase, "A dog is man's best friend."


Main quests
Act 1Ain't That a Kick in the Head · Back in the Saddle · By a Campfire on the Trail · They Went That-a-Way · Ring-a-Ding-Ding!
Act 2Wild Card (Wild Card: Ace in the Hole, Change in Management, You and What Army?, Side Bets, Finishing Touches) · The House Always Wins (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII) · Render Unto Caesar · Et Tumor, Brute? · Things That Go Boom · Kings' Gambit · For the Republic, Part 2 · You'll Know It When It Happens/Arizona Killer
Act 3No Gods, No Masters · All or Nothing · Veni, Vidi, Vici · Eureka!
Side quests
New California RepublicAnywhere I Wander · Back in Your Own Backyard · Bitter Springs Infirmary Blues · Boulder City Showdown · Can You Find it in Your Heart? · Climb Ev'ry Mountain · Don't Tread on the Bear! · Emergency Radio · Eye for an Eye · Flags of Our Foul-Ups · Hard Luck Blues · I Don't Hurt Anymore · I Put a Spell on You · Keep Your Eyes on the Prize · Medical Mystery · No, Not Much · Pressing Matters · Restoring Hope · Return to Sender · That Lucky Old Sun · The White Wash · There Stands the Grass · Three-Card Bounty · We Will All Go Together · You Can Depend on Me
Caesar's LegionBeware the Wrath of Caesar! · Caesar's Favor · Caesar's Foe · Caesar's Hire · Cold, Cold Heart · I Hear You Knocking · The Finger of Suspicion · We Are Legion
The StripBeyond the Beef · Bye Bye Love · Classic Inspiration · How Little We Know · Pheeble Will · Talent Pool · The House Has Gone Bust! · The Moon Comes Over the Tower
Freeside & Outer VegasBirds of a Feather · Bleed Me Dry · Debt Collector · G.I. Blues · High Times · Someone to Watch Over Me · The Coyotes · Wang Dang Atomic Tango
BoomersAnt Misbehavin' · Sunshine Boogie · Volare! · Young Hearts
Great KhansAba Daba Honeymoon · Cry Me a River · Don't Make a Beggar of Me · Oh My Papa
Powder GangBooted · I Fought the Law · Run Goodsprings Run · Why Can't We Be Friends?
Brotherhood of SteelEyesight to the Blind · Still in the Dark · Tend to Your Business
OtherCome Fly With Me · Crazy, Crazy, Crazy · Ghost Town Gunfight · Guess Who I Saw Today · Left My Heart · My Kind of Town · The Legend of the Star and A Valuable Lesson · Unfriendly Persuasion · Wheel of Fortune
Companion questsED-E My Love · For Auld Lang Syne · Heartache by the Number · I Could Make You Care · I Forgot to Remember to Forget · Nothin' But a Hound Dog · One for My Baby
Unmarked questsA Bit of Slap and Tickle · A Final Plan for Esteban · Access Powers · All Fired Up! · An Ear to the Ground · Andy and Charlie · Arachnophobia · Arizona Scavenger · Barton the Fink · Bear Necessities · Big Winner (Atomic Wrangler, The Gomorrah, The Tops, Ultra-Luxe, Vikki & Vance) · Bounty Killer (I, II) · Brotherhood Bond (I, II) · Caching in at the Cove · Cajoling a Cudgel · Claws Mended · Claws Out · Dealing with Contreras · Defacing the Humble Stone · Democracy Inaction · Don't Poke at the Bear! · Eddie's Emissary · Exhumin' Nature · Fight Night · Flogging a Dead Corpse · Friend of the Followers · Gland for Some Home Cooking · Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger · Hat's Entertainment · Help for Halford · Hidden Valley computer virus · Highway to the Danger Zone (I, II) · Honorary Rocketeer · I Love Bananas · Iron and Stealing · Keith's Caravan Charade · Laurifer Gladiator · Lenk's Bad Debts · Lily and Leo · Long-Term Care · Malleable Mini Boomer Minds · Maud's Muggers · Meeting an Equal · Missing a Few Missiles · Most Wanted · Not Worth a Hill of Corn and Beans · Old School Ghoul · A Pair of Dead Desperados (I, II) · Papers, Please · Pistol Packing · Playing on the Old Joana · Powder to the People · Power to the People · Razzle Dazzle! · Reach for the Sky, Mister! · Rest and Resupply · Ringo's Caravan Rules · Rotface's Loose Lips · Saving (or Savaging) Sergeant Teddy · The Screams of Brahmin · Silus Treatment · Short-Term Treatment · Smooth-Talking Criminal · The Star Showdown · Strategic Nuclear Moose · Straus Calls · Strip Search · Suits You, Sarah · Tags of Our Fallen · A Team of Moronic Mercenaries · Thought for the Day · Tourist Traipse · Trudy's Radio Repair · A Trusted Aide · Useless Baubles or Fancy Trinkets? · We Must Stop Beating Like This · We Must Stop Meeting Like This · Wind-Brahmin Wrangler · You Gotta Break Out a Few Eggs · You Make Me Feel Like a Woman
Add-on quests
Dead MoneySierra Madre Grand Opening! · Find Collars (8: "Dog", 12: Christine, 14: Dean Domino) · Fires in the Sky · Strike Up the Band · Mixed Signals · Trigger the Gala Event · Put the Beast Down · Last Luxuries · Curtain Call at the Tampico · Heist of the Centuries · Big Winner, Sierra Madre · Return to the FountainCut content
Honest HeartsA Family Affair · Arrival at Zion · Bighorners of the Eastern Virgin · Chaos in Zion · Civilized Man's Burden · Crush the White Legs · Deliverer of Sorrows  · Departing Paradise · Flight from Zion · Gathering Storms · Gone Fishin' · Happy Trails Expedition · Prisoners of War · Retake the Bridge · River Monsters · Rite of Passage · Roadside Attraction · Sanctity of the Dead · The Advance Scouts  · The Treacherous Road · The Grand Staircase · Tourist Trap
Old World BluesAll My Friends Have Off Switches · A Brain's Best Friend · Coming Out of Her Shell · Field Research · He Came... And Went · Influencing People · Midnight Science Fiction Feature! · Old World Blues · On the Same Wavelength · Picking Your Brains · Project X-13 · Sonic Emitter Upgrade · Welcome to the Big Empty · What's in a Name? · When Visitors Attack! · X-2: Strange Transmissions! · X-8 Data Retrieval Test · X-8: High School Horror! · X-13: Attack of the Infiltrator!
Lonesome RoadThe Reunion · The Silo · The Job · The Launch · The Tunnelers · The Divide · The Courier · The End · The Apocalypse