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You're awake. How about that.Doc Mitchell

Ain't That a Kick in the Head is a tutorial quest in Fallout: New Vegas.


After being shot in the head by a man in a checkered suit, the Courier is rescued by Victor and taken to Doc Mitchell who fixes them up with a little brain surgery. To make sure the Courier is all there, Mitchell asks them to perform a few of tests.

Quick walkthrough

Tutorial Quest: Ain't That A Kick in the Head
You wake up in Goodsprings and Doc Mitchell will explain what happened to you.
Pick your appearance (race, age, appearance and name)
Pick your SPECIAL points by the Vit-o-matic Vigor Tester
Pick your Tag skills and traits
Doc gives back all possessions, along with a Vault 21 jumpsuit and a Pip-Boy
Reward: Doc tells you to talk to Sunny Smiles, leading to Back in the Saddle.
Leads to: Back in the Saddle

Detailed walkthrough

After the intro cinematic, the Courier wakes up with blurred vision in a small town called Goodsprings. It has been a particularly bad evening, and the Courier has been rescued by Victor the Securitron. The Courier finds themself inside Doc Mitchell's house. As the Courier's head begins to clear, they sit up to see Doc Mitchell, the man who fixed them up and is the owner of the aforementioned shack as well as the town's only doctor. The doctor will ask the Courier their name and hand them a Reflectron to examine (and customize) their appearance. The Courier will then have the opportunity to assign their SPECIAL points through the Vit-o-matic Vigor Tester after walking across the room. The doctor will then ask them to have a seat on his couch, where the Courier can tag three skills after word-association, personality profile, and Rorschach blot tests, and also select up to two traits.

Once character creation is complete, the doctor will guide the Courier to a door that leads out into the town of Goodsprings, where he will give them a Vault 21 jumpsuit as well as a Pip-Boy 3000 and any pre-order bonus items. There is no theft penalty for anything in the Doc's house. The doctor has a fair amount of medical equipment, as well as a laser pistol and ammunition in a metal box. The chemistry set in the room the Courier awoke in can be used by a character with a Science skill of at least 25 to produce either five stimpaks or a small assortment of chems (Psycho, Jet, Steady, Buffout, Rebound, and Mentats). There is also a broken 9mm SMG laying on a crate near the bed in which the Courier woke up, which can be repaired and taken if their Repair skill is at least 25. Also if the Courier has high enough Speech or Medicine they can talk to the doc, who will give them a number of stimpaks.


After completing the tutorial, every character gets 4 stimpaks, 18 caps, a couple of bobby pins, possibly one ranged weapon (9mm pistol is default if no weapon skills are selected) or one hand-to-hand weapon, dependent on the selected tag-skills.

Tagged Skill + Rewards based on the tagged skill. Equipment
Lockpick 12 bobby pins instead of 6
Guns 9mm pistol and 43 9mm rounds (instead of default 15-30 rounds)
Explosives 8 sticks of dynamite (only when neither Guns nor Energy Weapons are tagged as well)
Energy Weapons Laser pistol and 20 energy cells (only when Guns isn't tagged as well)
Melee Weapons Straight razor (Regardless of other tagged skills)
Unarmed Boxing gloves (only when Melee Weapons isn't tagged as well)

Quest stages

10 Walk to the Vit-o-matic Vigor Tester.
30 Use the Vit-o-matic Vigor Tester.
40 Sit down on the couch in Doc Mitchell's living room.
50Quest finishedFollow Doc Mitchell to the exit.


  • Before the Courier leaves the doctor's house, the game will offer the option to play the game in hardcore mode. The reward is an achievement/trophy. There is no in-game reward for completing the game in hardcore mode.
  • If the Courier talks to the doctor again before leaving the house, they are given the option to use a Medicine or Speech check (30). If the Speech check is successful then the Courier is rewarded with 3 stimpaks.
    • If the Courier has a Speech skill of 30 and a Medicine skill lower than 30 it is possible to pass a total of 3 Speech checks receiving a total of 8 Stimpaks and 90 experience points. After passing the first Speech check, use a Today's Physician to raise Medicine skill to 30. Then talk with Doc Mitchell again to pass the Medicine check, followed by a Speech check of 30.
    • Alternatively, if Speech and Medicine skills both exceed 30, then Medicine can be lowered below 30 (e.g. with the alcoholic drinks usually present in Doc's refrigerator), then the Speech check passed, and then once the alcohol wears off the Medicine and second Speech check can be passed before leaving the house.
  • Doc Mitchell will comment on any extremes in the Courier's SPECIAL skills (e.g. 1 in Intelligence, 8 in Luck, etc.)
  • If the Courier is not given a laser pistol by Mitchell, one can be found on a shelf with ammunition.
  • Since the items in Doc Mitchell's house are not assigned to him, they can be collected without losing Karma.
  • In Fallout 3, if the Lone Wanderer says they hate their Pip-Boy and asks how to get it off, Stanley Armstrong says it's impossible. However, Doc Mitchell took his off somehow and it is possible in Mick and Ralph's store to swap it out for the Pimp-Boy 3 Billion after resolving Mick's problem.
  • No matter what name the Courier gives Doc Mitchell, he will always say: "Can't say it's what I'd have picked for ya."
  • During the tag skill segment, replying to Doc Mitchell's last question "Mother" with "Human Shield" results in him making a unique comment about it.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • Ain't That a Kick in the Head? is the name of a popular Dean Martin song. The song is also featured on the in-game radio station Radio New Vegas and played in the casinos.
  • The final ink blot shown to the courier is an exact copy of an ink blot used in the episode "shock theater" of the show Quantum Leap.


  • PCPC While using the Vit-o-matic Vigor Tester, clicking on the up/down arrows to increase or decrease a statistic, or the left/right arrows to shift between statistics, may not work. If this happens, it may be that the game thinks that the arrow is somewhere else, in which case clicking elsewhere on the screen will produce the desired result. Another workaround is to use your keyboard's arrow keys (NOT the wsad keys) to increase/decrease statistics and shift between statistics. [verified]
  • PCPC If you start to use console commands, the game will completely freeze and when reloaded it will restart. Do not use console commands for this mission at any time. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 After gaining the ability to move, you might walk slowly and not be able to sit. Just restart the system and make a new save to fix this.[verified]


  1. Doc Mitchell: "Hmm. Sometimes when you give tests like this, you learn more than you was hoping for, and I reckon that ain't always the best thing. But I guess maybe it explains a thing or two about your predicament."
    (Doc Mitchell's dialogue)
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 · Poor Meat Never Makes Good Soup · 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
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