Caesar, born Edward Sallow, is the ruler and co-founder of Caesar's Legion in 2281. He is revered by legionaries as the self-proclaimed "Son of Mars."[Non-canon 1] He is a former member of the Followers of the Apocalypse and a former citizen of the NCR.
The militaristic might Caesar's Legion achieved completely pacified the lands that the Legion occupied, but safe roads were only the first step to fully realizing a permanent Legion that could continue after his rule. The next great step was to expand westward and acquire a real "Rome" in the form of New Vegas that could be the base of his new empire. But, before they can continue westward, Caesar and his followers must deal with the New California Republic, a formidable military power that Caesar sees as his first worthy opponent.
The bedrock of Caesar's philosophy is that service to the state is not just the highest virtue, it is the only virtue. Caesar is critical of NCR society as its leaders care not for the "greater good". This is contrary to Caesar's belief that "an individual has no value beyond his utility to the state, whether as an instrument of war, or production." He views the Great War of 2077 as a chance for humanity to start over and aims to unify humanity under one banner or eliminate them should they refuse. Reading through old world books, Caesar has gained knowledge of the old glory of Imperial Rome and has used the ignorance of his followers to claim that he is Caesar, the son of Mars, the God of War, and not Edward Sallow, former Follower of the Apocalypse.
Aside from total military defeat, Caesar's greatest fear is being exposed as a fraud. Most members of the Legion, excluding some of the most trusted ones, are oblivious to the fact that the Legion's culture is based on books about ancient Rome – they believe that all of the customs enforced by Caesar were dictated to him by Mars himself. Those who claim otherwise are viewed as ultimate blasphemes and are likely to be executed. While some of the newly captured slaves are skeptical, they don't tend to be vocal about it, and their children are taken away from their parents to be raised by Caesar's priestesses.[Non-canon 3] Secretly, Caesar still doesn't feel like a real Emperor of Rome – with his loose nation of savages, he still thinks of himself as merely a barbaric king of the Gauls.[Non-canon 3] Caesar desires two things: a Carthage, and a Rome; by seizing New Vegas, Caesar felt that he would finally be able to elevate his Legion into a legitimate nation by giving it its own "Rome" by destroying the NCR, Caesar's "Carthage" – transforming them from a nomadic army into a true empire; a militaristic, imperialist, autocratic, culturally homogeneous empire whose ruler holds undisputed power - a "Pax Romana" which would prevent humanity from ever fracturing itself again.
Caesar regards the NCR as only an extension of the corruption that existed during the Old World and that it is ultimately doomed to repeat the same mistakes. He sees in it similar attributes associated with the Roman Republic before Julius Caesar seized power; extensive bureaucracy, corruption, senatorial infighting and filled with a people driven solely by greed and personal gain. It exists as the antithesis to the Legion and as a catalyst for change that only a confrontation with it can bring; a clash he sees as an inevitable product of Hegelian dialectics. The conflict is a vital one, not only for the future of his Legion strategically but also philosophically; the NCR is the first of his enemies to which he is truly ideologically opposed and the first that can truly test the strength of his Legion, as well as his philosophy.
In his view, the NCR does not have a long-term solution to the problems of the Wasteland - the bombs had reset humanity's progress and he believed the time had come to rebuild it into something new. He argues that NCR is weakened by its democracy, and that it was at its strongest when under the dominating rule of its second president – Tandi – whose popularity was such she remained leader of the NCR for most of her life until her death as the senate would never dare oppose her. He was taught to venerate her as a child and observes that she was ultimately more of a queen than an elected official and that it is similar centralized power that a new civilization needs. In the eyes of Caesar, the NCR that came after Tandi's presidency has been blighted with greed and widespread corruption because of the oligarchical control of politicians and brahmin barons looking out for only their interests instead of the greater good and its citizens. Caesar is simply quickening what is the inevitable, logical conclusion of the once virtuous NCR.
Caesar also regards self-sacrifice as a necessary part of rebuilding civilization, as evidenced by the fact that he refuses the very notion of using the Securitrons hidden inside the bunker underneath his camp. Caesar rejects allowing his Legion to advance technologically, believing that life must be kept hard and filled with sacrifice in order to strengthen humanity. He has similarly kept his people ignorant of mankind's former knowledge of medical science, allowing his Legion to get by on primitive healing powders while he himself keeps an Auto-Doc in his tent for both his personal use as well as a "gift" to anyone Caesar favors. Similarly, drugs and alcohol are completely forbidden from being used by legionaries, so most legionaries must make do with previously mentioned healing powder, bitter drink or concocting new remedies like Hydra, all with the caveat that the pain remains.
Interactions with the player character
|This character starts quests.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
- Render Unto Caesar: From here on out, the player character can choose to work for Caesar, and thus, the Legion.
- Et Tumor, Brute?: Caesar has a lethal brain tumor for which he desperately needs a cure.
- Arizona Killer: Caesar will order the Courier to assassinate President Kimball during his visit to Hoover Dam.
- Veni, Vidi, Vici: Caesar will order the Courier to report to Legate Lanius to begin the battle for Hoover Dam.
- The House Always Wins, Wild Card: You and What Army?: When the player character comes to The Fort, Caesar believes he has another pawn to use. He orders the Courier to go to the underground weather monitoring station and destroy the Securitron vault. When Mr. House or Yes Man contacts the Courier from within the bunker and tells the Courier to activate all the Securitrons, the player character can. The resultant shaking of the ground fools Caesar into thinking the player character destroyed whatever was in the vault.
- Return to Sender: If Caesar has been killed, the player character can complete the quest by convincing Chief Hanlon to stop his plot against the NCR, thus allowing both the rangers led by the chief and the troopers led by Lee Oliver to be praised for their victory in Hoover Dam (If the Courier joins the Republic), having Hanlon retire (if the Courier join Yes Man/House), or the remaining rangers being killed to the last by the Legion (if one joins the Legion).
- I Forgot to Remember to Forget: If Caesar is killed, two companion points are gained, which helps gain access to Craig Boone's personal quest.
Effects of player's actions
- If the player character has completed Restoring Hope or I Put a Spell on You (on the NCR side), Caesar will mention how they have been so much trouble for the Legion. This also happens by completing Birds of a Feather, killing Dead Sea (can be done with or without completing Restoring Hope), breaking the alliance with the Khans in Oh My Papa, brokering peace between the Kings and the NCR as part of Kings' Gambit, completing How Little We Know in Cachino's favor, completing the quest Eye for an Eye, or killing Vulpes Inculta.
- If none of the above actions have been taken, Caesar will offer compliments if the player character has completed quests or certain tasks detrimental to the NCR, or completed quests for the Legion before meeting Caesar such as completing Cold, Cold Heart, unlocking ARCHIMEDES II for themselves in That Lucky Old Sun, killing or releasing Silus in Silus Treatment, and completing We Are Legion.
- If any crimes against the Legion are committed after meeting Caesar for the first time such as killing Dead Sea at Nelson, completing I Put a Spell on You in the NCR's favor, breaking the alliance with the Khans, or completing How Little We Know in Cachino's favor. Caesar will mention the crime in question and ask if they have committed any other crimes. He will then forgive the Courier this one time and warn that if other crimes are committed he will have them killed. If another crime is committed after Caesar warned them, he will mention this and then order his praetorians to slaughter them.
- Telling Caesar they are done working for him will result in him warning that if they ever disobey him again he will order his praetorians to hack them to death for his entertainment. True to his word, he will turn hostile and send his praetorians to attack if the player character refuses to work for him a second time.
- After the Courier notices Caesar's headache, his ailment can be inquired about if the Courier has a Medicine skill of 40. They can talk to him and ask how long he has been limping for. If successful, he will mention that he has been suffering from it for two weeks, after which he will lie down and warn them not to disturb him again or he will have them killed.
- Failing the check will result in him telling the Courier to "fuck off."
- Ignoring his warning and attempting to speak to him again will result in Caesar becoming furious and calling on his praetorians to attack.
- Caesar is one of the characters that the player character must eat in order to earn the Meat of Champions perk.
- If the player character manages to kill Caesar, the effects on the game will change, as he will no longer directly participate in the events.
- If the Courier speaks to Caesar before attacking him, they can say "Death to tyrants!" This is a common mistranslation of the Latin phrase "Sic semper tyrannis." The actual translation of this phrase is "Thus always to tyrants," which is the shortened version of "Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis," which in full is rendered as "Thus always I bring death to tyrants," which is the typical reason for the mistranslation. This is believed to have been uttered by the assassins of the real Julius Caesar. The latter is also the name of a challenge to assassinate the NCR's president.
- If the Courier has the Terrifying Presence perk and a negative reputation with the Legion prior to meeting Caesar, he will ask what they were thinking when first meeting him, and the option to tell him "That I'd decorate this tent with your guts." can be used to frighten him before attacking.
- If Caesar dies for any reason other than his illness or using the Auto-Doc to dissect his brain then passing a Speech check in Et Tumor, Brute?, Legion reputation will automatically change to Vilified, even if the player character didn't kill him.
- Julie Farkas exclaims "So, the great Caesar is dead ..." and goes on saying that she doubts that it will have much effect on the imminent attack.
- If the player character talks to Mr. House about killing Caesar before he dies, Mr. House will reply that "[He] does not want you to touch one hair on that man's head, assuming you can find one." He says that Caesar provides a good distraction for the NCR.
- If the player character kills Caesar while working with Mr. House on the "The House Always Wins" quests, they can return to Mr. House and tell him that Caesar is dead. Mr. House simply notes that this has a "minimal" impact on the battle for Hoover Dam and offers no reward or punishment for the action.
- If the player character kills Caesar, Mr. New Vegas will say "it is still unknown how the assassin managed to evade security," even if they killed Caesar in a frontal assault on The Fort (i.e., didn't evade security).
- If Caesar is killed with Boone as a companion, Boone will smugly say "Thumbs down, you son of a bitch!" - a reference to the gesture that is commonly thought to have called for the execution of a failed gladiator in ancient Rome, despite the thumb inside the fist meaning "mercy" or "weapons down." He will subsequently have further dialogue options when selecting the "Talk" option. He will also talk about the death of Caesar having little effect on the attack on Hoover Dam, but admits, on prompting from the Courier, that he still enjoyed it immensely. They will also gain two points to use toward Boone's quest I Forgot to Remember to Forget.
- If the player character speaks to Lily, she will remark that Leo thinks there will be more people to chop up and that the player character should be careful.
- There is a dialogue with the Legate at the end of the game, stating "So, Caesar giving orders from beyond the grave?" - an indication that Mr. House is right and Caesar's death was no more than a minimal setback. However, House will also note that Lanius is a poor leader compared to Caesar, and predicts that within a year of his death the Legion will be torn apart by infighting.
- Caleb McCaffery greets the Courier with "All hail the slayer of Caesar!"
- Most NCR troopers will say, "Wish I could have been there to see Caesar die. What an asshole."
- Chairmen at The Tops will state "That's the guy/gal who killed Caesar!"
- Francine Garret states "here's one on the house for taking down Caesar, serves him right for treating women like livestock," and gives you a free bottle of liquor.
- James Garret will also give you a free bottle of liquor, like his sister.
- Some travelers on the Strip will comment, "Now that you've killed that Caesar bastard, the Strip's really going to bloom."
- White Gloves in the Ultra-Luxe will comment, "I hear you killed Caesar, is it true, that he wore a toupee?"
- Sergeant McCredie at Camp Golf will complement the Courier on a great job, and Mags will say "I hear Caesar's dead, and we have you to thank for it... nice work."
- While near the end of Return to Sender, the player character can convince Chief Hanlon to come back to his senses and cease falsifying the reports by reporting Caesar's death to him.
- In Honest Hearts the player character is able to tell Joshua Graham that they saw Caesar die. He will not react much to the news but he will admit that he thought he would die before Caesar. He also remarks that Caesar's death is good news for the Mojave, and states that without Caesar's leadership the Legion will eventually fall apart. However, the Courier cannot do the reverse, as killing Caesar's former righthand man (or even leaving him alive) brings no dialogue options with him.
- If the player character speaks to Ulysses after the end of Lonesome Road they can tell him that they have killed Caesar. He isn't angry despite his former allegiance to the Legion and states that the east may fall apart in time but that it's too soon to tell; he goes on to say that unless they do the same to Lanius, they'll get no thanks from him.
|Apparel||Weapon||Other items||On death|
|Caesar's armor||Displacer glove||Platinum chip
(If Benny survives the confrontation at The Tops)
- Members of the Legion pronounce Caesar's name /ˈkaizar/, a post-classical Latin pronunciation, emphasizing the diphthong. Legionaries who knew him early in the Legion's history, as well as most other wastelanders, pronounce it as the Anglicized /ˈsiːzər/.
- Barring his occasional use of Latin and references to accompanying academic concepts and subjects, he speaks in a casual, "modern-day" dialect.
- Caesar holds some level of respect for Aaron Kimball, calling him "a man of potential." He believes that Kimball would have been more powerful and had more control over the NCR if he had seized power, instead of being elected.
- If the player character pickpockets Caesar while detected, he will automatically turn hostile and his inventory doesn't open.
- If Caesar dies, his body will never disappear.
- Punching or shooting Caesar's body after he dies will turn the Legion hostile.
- The Toaster mentions Caesar.
- If Caesar turns hostile, he appears to not have an "attacking expression," and will attack with an expression on his face as if he wasn't angry.
|The following is based on Fallout: New Vegas cut content.|
- In Honest Hearts, there remains an unused model, although possibly used for Honest Hearts intro slides, of Caesar named NVDLC02CaesarYounger. The only difference between the model used in Fallout: New Vegas and this model is that the unused model has a comb-over.
|End of information based on Fallout: New Vegas cut content|
- "We have cities of our own, but nothing compared to Vegas. Finally, my Legion will have its Rome."
- "Oh yes, raised in that tradition. And the teaching stuck. I was taught it was my responsibility to bring the torch of knowledge to the wastes."
- "As an anthropologist and linguist, my assignment was to learn the dialects of the Grand Canyon tribes. What a fucking waste of time!"
- "I showed them total warfare. Like I said, there's a lot you can learn from old books."
- "Good. In hoc signo taurus vinces. (In the sign of the bull, you will conquer.) Report to Legatus Lanius immediately - he'll brief you on the plan of battle. Come back victorious, or don't come back."
- "Thesis and antithesis. The Colorado River is my Rubicon. The NCR council will be eradicated, but the new synthesis will change the Legion as well... from a basically nomadic army to a standing military force that protects its citizens, and the power of its dictator."
- "My conquest of the Mojave will be a glorious triumph, marking the transition of the Legion from a basically nomadic tribe to a genuine empire. Just as my namesake campaigned in Gaul before he crossed the Rubicon, so have I campaigned, and will cross the Colorado."
- "I've heard it's a bad idea to tempt the wrath of Caesar."
Caesar appears in Fallout: New Vegas and is mentioned in its add-ons Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road. He was going to appear in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.[Non-canon 4]
Behind the scenes
|Behind the scenes|
“Can you explain the similarities between Mr. Kurtz, and Caesar?
Both are men of intelligence and education who traveled from a life of relative comfort, technological wizardry, and "civilization" into a wilderness full of warring people with relatively low education and a relatively "primitive" lifestyle. Both rose to power and were essentially deified for their intelligence, knowledge and leadership capabilities. Both cut off communication with the outside world and lived in their (until now) remote, savage kingdoms, using the most brutal means possible to deal with rare instances of dissent. Both have an "unusual" way of looking at the world due to their cultural isolation.
Unlike Mr. Kurtz, Caesar's reign continues for a long, long time.”— J.E. Sawyer
“On a related note, at least one source of real-world inspiration for Caesar was Charles Taylor of Liberia. Charles Taylor is a real dude. For real. Go read some of the trial transcripts where his war crimes are detailed. The shit that went down in Liberia (and Sierra Leone) on his command makes F:NV's Caesar's Legion look moderately cruel.”
“I've never thought of Caesar's or the Legion's activities as "edgy". For their own purposes, they engage in a variety of horrible practices that others have engaged in throughout history. I'm sure individual players might want to engage in ranking atrocities -- something I've never really found was productive in discussions about history -- but Caesar and his crew in the same league as other brutal warlords. He was inspired (on our end) by people like Charles Taylor, Timur, and Simon de Montfort (the crusader). "Caesar" is a persona he adopted, but he effectively operates as a warlord with no regard for individual human lives outside of how he can use them.”
“RE: Caesar’s Karma being neutral: I believe at the time my rationale for that Karma setting is that Caesar is in a Mr. Kurtz-like state of unmoored morality. Whatever moral framework he had as Edward Sallow among the Followers has disintegrated after years of being Caesar. I.e., it’s not so much that his Karma is neutral as much as it is alien. That said, I don’t feel strongly about that designation and largely feel that the Karma system was vestigial in New Vegas. If we’re trying to encourage players to form their own opinions about factions and individuals, having a design layer that assigns (essentially) alignment is weird.”— jesawyer.tumblr.com