Caesar, born Edward Sallow, is the charismatic leader and co-founder of Caesar's Legion. He is the self-proclaimed "Son of Mars" and a former Follower of the Apocalypse and citizen of the NCR. He serves as the central antagonist in all but one storyline in Fallout: New Vegas.
Edward Sallow was born in 2226. His family once lived near the Boneyard until his father was killed by raiders when he was two years old, forcing his mother and him to flee―eventually finding sanctuary with the Followers of the Apocalypse in 2231. He received a free education from the Followers and eventually became a scribe specializing in anthropology and linguistics. While he was intelligent, and charismatic, he was never very popular among his peers, due to his narcissism and petulance. He did not feel like he belonged among the Followers and, in hindsight, considers their goals to be utterly naive.
In 2246, at the age of 20, Sallow and Calhoun, a fellow Follower, were sent east to study tribal dialects. He was instructed to meet with Joshua Graham, a Mormon missionary from New Canaan, who was a tribal specialist. They embarked on a journey to the region known formerly as Arizona as part of a nine-person expedition. Disgusted by the primitive conditions in which the tribals lived, he looked down upon them as inferior and immoral. During this expedition, they also discovered a cache of books about ancient Rome. While he had known some basic facts about ancient history, these books shed new light on some of the details. Reading first The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and then Julius Caesar's own Commentarii, personal accounts of his military conquests, changed his life and was the starting point of his grand plan. He intended to use the Commentarii as a blueprint―after all, which illiterate tribal would know that he was not the original Caesar, and his "Rome" was merely a copy of a civilization long gone?
Rise to Power
At some point in 2247, Sallow, Graham, and Calhoun became hostages of the Blackfoot tribe - While Caesar believed the tribe did this for ransom, Graham would later attribute the change in the tribe's relationship with the party to a mistranslation. At the time the tribe was at war with seven other tribes; they were heavily outnumbered and Sallow recognized their defeat and subsequent demise was only a matter of time. Unwilling to be destroyed along with them, Sallow chose (against the wishes of his companions) to use his knowledge to train the Blackfoot tribe in the art of warfare after witnessing their lack of knowledge first hand. He showed them how to clean and maintain guns, operate with small unit tactics, create their own explosives and to strike at their weakest enemies first; divide et impera - divide and conquer. He quickly impressed them enough to the point where he was made their leader - their "Caesar".
Caesar then introduced the tribe to the concept of total war to the tribes around them - Caesar knew that though the tribes had always fought each other via occasional skirmishes, he considered them to only be "playing at war", having never seen warfare at its most destructive and barbaric. They defeated the weakest of their enemies first and enslaved many of the able-bodied survivors; but Caesar had the rest, including women and children, killed to the last, leaving their remains piled high. When Caesar surrounded the next of the Blackfoot tribe's foes, they refused to surrender. Caesar brought an emissary of the tribe back to witness the fate of the first tribe - the tribe surrendered, rather than suffer the same fate. The concept of total war was an entirely new, and terrifying, facet to conflict that the tribes had never confronted before; such brutality would form the core of the Legion's tactics and outlook.
Surprisingly, Joshua Graham decided to join Caesar as his right-hand man, now known as the Malpais Legate. While Calhoun was sent back to the Followers to inform them of what he was doing, the other six members of the expedition were murdered on the self-proclaimed Emperor's orders. Caesar formed his Legion out of the tribes that had either been conquered or had chosen to capitulate to avoid total destruction. Caesar chose the concept of the Roman Empire to model the Legion after because of its parallels to what he considered the "status-quo" of the post-apocalyptic world - he believed the concept of individualism to have no place facing the challenges of the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Ideologically, the Roman Empire was also appealing to him for its ability to assimilate those it conquered, the destruction of such "tribal" identities a key goal to the Legion's long-term strategy of unification. He intended to erase their individual identities and replace them all with a single, monolithic culture - the Legion - where individuals have no value outside of what they offer the greater whole.
By 2250, Caesar declared himself the son of Mars, Roman god of war, and five years later he established his first capital in the ruins of Flagstaff. By 2274, he had conquered most of the tribes of northern Arizona, southwestern Colorado, western New Mexico and southwestern Utah, and became known as the "Conqueror of the 86 Tribes", whose Legion had never met any serious defeat until their confrontation with the NCR at the First Battle of Hoover Dam.
War with the NCR
The Republic would have the dubious distinction of being recognized by Caesar as a worthy adversary. He views his campaign against NCR as similar to that of his namesake Julius Caesar who eventually seized power for himself after crossing the river Rubicon and capturing Rome; going on to take control of the Republic after years of campaigning against the tribes of Gaul more than two thousand years earlier. Likewise, the new Caesar has campaigned against the myriad tribes of the East and will now cross the Colorado river and begin his unstoppable conquest of the West and the NCR.
After succeeding in destroying one of their major fortifications, Fort Aradesh, Legion forces under the command of the Malpais Legate marched against the NCR garrison at Hoover Dam, in an attempt to take the strategic asset and river crossing. In what became known as the First Battle of Hoover Dam, Legate Graham initially had the upper hand. Graham was able to push the NCR defenders back and lead his forces over the dam. Lead elements of the NCR, including members of the 1st Recon Battalion and NCR Rangers, executed a tactical retreat west across the dam and into Boulder City, all the while using their prowess in marksmanship to kill the Legion officers (primarily Centurions and Decanii). Graham, unable to adapt to new strategies in combat, chose to order his Legionaries to push the rangers, not knowing the NCR had booby-trapped Boulder City, laying explosives along their line of retreat, and drawing the Legion into a trap. When the Legion forces entered the city, the NCR detonated the explosives and inflicted severe casualties among the Legion forces, crippling their offensive. The NCR forces then counter-attacked, pushing back and eventually routing the Legion forces who fled back east over the Dam. Caesar, angered at the failure of his Legate, made an example of him. The Praetorian Guard covered Joshua Graham in pitch, set him on fire, and cast him into the Grand Canyon.
Aside from 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 blasphemers. 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. 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. 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" - transforming them from a nomadic army into a true empire; a militaristic, patriarchal, imperialist, autocratic, culturally homogeneous empire whose ruler holds undisputed power - a "Pax Romana" which would prevent humanity from ever fracturing itself again. And in the NCR he found his Carthage.
He regards the NCR as only an extension of the corruption that existed during the Old World and 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 lifetime 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.
Interactions with the player character
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- Render Unto Caesar: From here on out, the player can choose to work for Caesar and thus the Legion.
- Et Tumor, Brute?: Caesar has a brain tumor that he tells the Courier to fix.
- The House Always Wins, Wild Card: You and What Army?: When the player comes to The Fort, Caesar believes he has another pawn to use. He orders you to go to the underground weather monitoring station and destroy the Securitron vault. However, being the sly devil you are, Mr. House or Yes Man contacts you from within the bunker and tells you to activate all the securitrons.
If you manage to kill Caesar the effects on the game are fairly minor, (although the Legion ending is massively changed, due to the fact Caesar is the leader of the Legion), as he no longer directly participates in military action.
- 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 you kill Caesar while working with Mr. House on the various "The House Always Wins" quests, you 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 further reward or punishment for the action.
- If you kill Caesar, Mr. New Vegas will say "it is still unknown how the killer managed to evade security", even if you 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 was used by the audience to call for the salvation of the gladiator. A common misconception. (The blade going down an out "thumbs down")(The blade going up and in "thumbs up") Thumbs up in the Roman era meant the death of a gladiator. 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 of Hoover Dam.
- There is a speech dialogue, if speaking 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 you 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.
- Some travelers on the Strip will comment, "Now that you've killed that Caesar bastard, the Strip's really going to bloom."
- If Caesar is killed, Sergeant McCredie at Camp Golf will compliment 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."
- Caesar is 55 years old in 2281, and the Roman General/Dictator Julius Caesar died at the age of 56 on March 15, 44 B.C.
- In Honest Hearts you are able to tell the Burned Man that you saw Caesar die. He will admit that he thought he would die before Caesar.
- Caesar's ailment can be inquired about if your Medicine skill is high enough, but sometimes the pain will bother him enough that he will cut the conversation and lie down. You can talk to him mentioning that you believe something is wrong, after which he will lie back down and warn you not to speak to him again until the following day. If you ignore him, he will call on his Praetorians and they will attack you.
- The historical Caesar actually suffered from a condition similar to the one depicted in-game. He had headaches, blackouts, and sometimes even seizures. Though it is believed to be a parasitic worm in his brain and not a tumor that caused this.
- Members of the Legion and some others pronounce its name in the classical Latin way by emphasizing the diphthong (Kai-sar). Wastelanders and members of NCR use an anglicized pronunciation by way of a soft ae (Sieze-er).
- Caesar is one of the characters that the player must eat in order to earn the Meat of Champions perk.
- Even though most of the Legion speaks in a respectful Roman manner, you can hear Caesar swearing quite a few times, especially when suffering from a tumor-induced headache.
- Caesar mentions he once owned a cyberdog. If you look closely at Rex, you will notice a red bull image on his side which is identical to the Legion's flags, indicating that Rex may have once served with the Legion.
- Like the original Caesar, he is going bald. NPC's may occasionally remark on this. Mr. House in particular tells the Courier that he doesn't want "him/her harming a hair on that man's head" and humorously remarks "assuming he/she can find one" during The House Always Wins.
- Caesar cannot be pickpocketed while sitting on his throne; attempting to do so automatically causes the entire Legion to turn hostile. He can be pickpocketed when he goes to his bed to rest after suffering a headache, but has nothing in his inventory. However, you can reverse-pickpocket a grenade while he's not on his throne and kill him stealthily.
- Caesar is the only main faction leader to have "evil" karma. Mr. House, President Kimball and Yes Man have "neutral" karma.
- Caesar has a hooked nose, which was a sign of nobility in ancient rome.
- Caesar is one of the few Legion members who does not have a Latin accent.
- In Honest Hearts, the second DLC, Joshua Graham reveals that Caesar's birth name is Edward Sallow.
- Joshua Graham pronounces Caesar in the way that most NCR and wastelanders do: (Sieze-er).
Behind the scenes
- Caesar was written by John Gonzalez. J.E. Sawyer, however, specifically requested for Caesar to use Haegelian Dialectics as the rationale for the Legion's existence and actions.
- Metzger, the leader of the Slavers Guild from the Den, was initially named Caesar.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Honest Hearts
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide, collector's edition
- ↑ Fallout: New Vegas
- ↑ Formspring