Established in 2274, shortly after the NCR secured Hoover Dam, the camp was set up around a water source, the Forlorn Hope Spring in an effort to quickly secure the shores of the Colorado River downstream. The haste is evident in the mixture of tents, tin shacks, rubble, and sandbags that make up the Republic's primary camp in the southeastern Mojave. The camp was never overhauled due to more pressing concerns, be it Operation: Sunburst, the First Battle of Hoover Dam, or implementing General Lee Oliver's defensive strategy. Unfortunately, this neglect hamstrung the camp's ability to respond to the Legion's attacks. When Camp Searchlight fell and Legion overran NCR's fledgling outpost at Nelson, Camp Forlorn Hope suddenly found itself on the front line, incapable of effectively securing the shores of the Colorado River or dislodge Dead Sea's garrison from Nelson.[Non-game 1]
The shutdown of the I-15 and Legion raids up and down Highway 95 have strained the supply situation. Water is plentiful, but everything else is in short supply, including food, ammunition, and men. Skirmishes in the no man's land between Nelson slowly deplete the ranks of troops stationed at the camp and the armory. Morale is at an all-time low, made worse by the Legion's deliberate maiming of soldiers they fight, who are then left to die in the desert sun with booby traps strapped to them. It comes as no surprise that to most soldiers, a posting at Camp Forlorn Hope is effectively a death sentence.
The commander of the camp, Major Polatli, blames the ineptitude of the army's highest commanders for the mismanagement of the situation at Forlorn Hope. However, he doesn't plan to sit idle while a legionary comes to slit his throat. He has prepared a plan to turn the situation around, including increasing his troop numbers, restoring supply lines and getting the camp into fighting shape so that he can retake Nelson and secure the army's flank in the inevitable battle for the dam.
Established on a small mesa overlooking Lake Mohave and the Colorado River, around the aforementioned Forlorn Hope Spring, the camp is a ramshackle collection of tents, shacks, and salvaged buses. The camp is roughly divided into two halves by the freshwater creek emptying into the river below.
The northern half of the camp contains the spring itself, with the main barracks, jail, and latrines next to it. The medical center staffed by Dr. Alex Richards is located at the northern entrance and the makeshift guard post and graveyard stretching behind it. Directly next to the medical tent is a shack, with the command center overlooking the river in the southeastern corner of the camp. Major Polatli can be found here along with Tech Sergent Reyes who coordinates radio communications.
The southern half of the camp is particularly crowded. More improvised housing sits along the western edge together with a single tent, opposite the mess hall. Behind the mess hall is the storage shed with a Very Hard lock. The quartermaster's tent is across the path. The quartermaster, Carl Mayes is found here. Further south is five more tents squeezed in between the defensive wall and flanked by bunkers. Beyond that are the frontline and the desolate stretch of no man's land leading to Nelson.
- Major Joseph Polatli
- Private Stone
- Dr. Alex Richards
- Quartermaster Carl Mayes
- Private James Sexton
- Tech Sergeant Reyes
- Lieutenant Monroe (if Boulder City Showdown is completed in favor of NCR)
- NCR troopers
- NCR Veteran Rangers
- NCR heavy troopers
- 1st Recon (after completing Three-Card Bounty)
- Lieutenant Hayes (after completing I Fought the Law)
- Nine Forlorn Hope letters are found scattered around the camp.
- If standing in the graveyard, the Courier will hear ghostly voices. This sound can also be heard at Goodsprings Cemetery and in the graveyard next to the Bitter Springs refugee camp.
- The ammo boxes found in the back of the tent that Quartermaster Mayes is in will always have either microfusion cells or energy cells instead of conventional ammunition. This ammunition can be taken without being considered stealing.
- If Raul Tejada is the Courier's companion, upon arrival at the camp he may say, "Sheesh, these soldiers look how I feel, boss!"
- Camp Forlorn Hope may periodically be attacked by a squad of legionaries from Nelson, crossing over the no man's land between the two camps. The squad's size varies. This is triggered by the player character visiting the no man's land area after beginning the quest Restoring Hope. The soldiers at Forlorn Hope will usually be able to repulse the attack, especially if 1st Recon is also present, but some of the named characters inside the camp could potentially die during the assault.
- Unlike many other NCR camps and communities, Camp Forlorn Hope does not have a reputation marker on the world map, but NCR fame is still gained for completing the quests here. The Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide incorrectly states that it does have a reputation marker.
- A palette de-saturation effect has been applied to the entire camp, with colors being muted and more sepia-toned.
- After the Boulder City Showdown quest is completed siding with NCR or making a deal, Lieutenant Monroe will immediately begin walking towards the camp.
- Between Camp Forlorn Hope and Nelson will be a small battlefield littered with dying NCR troopers. Laid near their bodies will be frag mines - most likely traps Legionaries have placed should the Courier or other NCR troopers wander too close to help them. Regardless of whether the Courier is able to disarm the mine quickly enough before it damages him and kills the trooper, they are either too weak or too wounded to actually be saved. Attempting to talk to them will only have them ask the Courier to perform a mercy killing. Oddly enough, performing a mercy kill will turn both the other dying troopers in the field and the active NCR troopers within Camp Forlorn Hope hostile (though the dying troopers will still remain on the ground, just marked as hostile). It is suggested to perform the mercy kills upon them with silenced weapons, should the player character not want to damage their reputation with the NCR. These mutilated soldiers have been removed in later patches (Dead Money onwards) due to problems with console memory use.
- If the Courier completes the quest We Are Legion, Legion troops will comment that Forlorn Hope has fallen. Despite this, the Legion does not actually take over the camp and generic NCR troops will continue to spawn.
- If Camp Forlorn Hope has been overrun by the Legion (by completing the quest We Are Legion), Major Dhatri will say that he has heard the camp has been overrun and will keep 1st Recon in McCarran if Driver Nephi has been eliminated as part of Three-Card Bounty.
- The Courier can play up to five games of Caravan with Mayes.
- The Forlorn Hope letters can be found in the camp as well as on the corpses of NCR troopers in the area, including the area where troopers on a supply run for HELIOS One have been ambushed and killed, or the mutilated soldiers in no man's land.
- The NCR troopers at the camp will often complain about their equipment as compared to troops stationed at Camp McCarran or HELIOS One. They are equipped with caravan shotguns rather than the service rifles or occasional hunting rifles that other NCR soldiers have.
- With the exception of Tech Sergeant Reyes, there are no female troopers stationed at the camp. This is because, according to the Forlorn Hope mandate, all female troopers were to be pulled to Camp McCarran. However, Betsy will be reassigned here following Three-Card Bounty
- Depending on the actions taken during the quests We Are Legion or Restoring Hope, during the battle of Hoover Dam the NCR emergency radio will report on the status of Camp Forlorn Hope. Either the camp is destroyed by the Legion, holds its ground against the invasion, or will provide support for Hoover Dam if Nelson has already been reclaimed.
- When the player character is a higher level or passes a certain point in the main quest, NCR heavy troopers will replace the NCR military police around the camp. The NCR troopers in the towers will also be replaced with NCR Veteran Rangers.
- If the bloatflies at the graveyard are engaged and not killed fast enough, most of the soldiers in the camp will attack them, but some of the named characters such as Major Polatli will flee the camp entirely and may be killed by other, more dangerous creatures in the surrounding area.
- Lieutenant Hayes, Sergeant McGee, Lieutenant Monroe, and three NCR officers stationed in the more isolated parts of the map (such as Primm and Boulder City), will relocate to the camp once the Courier has completed their respective quests. McGee will only join the camp if he is not chosen to be sheriff for Primm during My Kind of Town.
- If and when 1st Recon arrives at Forlorn Hope, 10 of Spades will be located in the mess hall, Lieutenant Gorobets and Corporal Sterling will be in the command tent, and Betsy and Bitter-Root will be in the barracks.
Camp Forlorn Hope appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- Camp Forlorn Hope is named after the real world Forlorn Hope Spring in the same geographical location in Clark County, Nevada.[Non-game 1]
- Lead area designer Charles Staples worked on Camp Forlorn Hope, conceiving the location alongside Joshua Sawyer. Staples then did most of the core design work and dialogue for the camp, which took a long time to develop.[Non-game 2]
- A "forlorn hope" is a body of troops chosen to take the leading part in a military operation, such as an assault on a defended position or as defending a hazardous position, where the risk of casualties is high.
- The first time traveling to Camp Forlorn Hope, if approaching from the south, sometimes a Legion patrol will spawn inside the base, resulting in a battle between the NCR and Legion - if the Legion patrol kills any quest non-player characters during the battle, this result in failed missions. Reloading and approaching from a different direction (north or west) seems to prevent the Legion troops from spawning inside the base.[verified]
- After accepting any mission at the Camp Forlorn Hope, whenever you're outside, everything appears in a violet haze very similar to that of Camp Searchlight's green haze.[verified]
- Members of the 1st Recon, after arriving at Camp Forlorn Hope, may continue to speak as if they were still at Camp McCarran, fighting Fiends.[verified]
- Soldiers killed here may (re)spawn with more than one dog tag.[verified]
- After examining Dr. Richards' patient closest to the door of the medical center, a Powder Ganger and two Great Khan soldiers may enter the tent, attacking Dr. Richards and the player depending on reputation. They stay in the tent and no more can be seen elsewhere in the camp.[verified]
- The rangers that spawn in the east-facing and south-facing sniper nests may be unarmed.[verified]
- Sometimes, when you fast travel, everyone at the camp will become hostile.[verified]
- nightkin from the one in Novac might spawn in a rock.[verified] Just west of the camp where the Courier must find the supplies during the quest Restoring Hope, the same
- [platforms tag needed] If you experience lagging from time to time during gameplay, Camp Forlorn Hope will give you the most lag while you're outside. This will sometime stop if you enter one of the buildings but will resume as soon as you exit it. Loading a previous save within the camp does nothing, nor does quitting to the game's main menu and loading the game. The only fix if you intend to stay in the camp would be to exit the game entirely and restarting it, though the lagging may resume if you enter and then exit one of the buildings.[verification overdue]
- Milo: "You're always welcome around the , Courier - least as far as I'm concerned."
(Ranger Milo's dialogue) Note: This greeting is spoken after the completion of the quest Back in Your Own Backyard.
- Milo: " "
(Ranger Milo's dialogue) Note: This greeting is spoken after the completion of the quest Restoring Hope.
- The Courier: "What's your problem?"
Stone: "My problem? My problem is we're all going to die. We're out of food, we're out of men, and we're out of time. The Legion is right outside waiting to kill us all. Today... tomorrow... it doesn't matter, we're all going to die here. So why don't you just leave me alone."
(Private Stone's dialogue)
- The Courier: "I wanted to check on the troopers sent from Camp Forlorn Hope."
Haggerty: "Yeah, they were here a while ago. Gave them all I could, which wasn't much. But as many problems as we're having here, I know they've got it worse. I've seen soldiers get assigned there. It's like they got told they were gonna die. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. If you're trying to track them down, we put a GPS marker in the supply crate. You can track it with your Pip-Boy. Good luck."
(Lt. Haggerty's dialogue)
- The Courier: "What's your take on the NCR's position here?"
Joseph Polatli: "It's no picnic, I'll tell you that much. My troops are out here every day dying for the NCR, but they've left us out to dry. We have no men or supplies and we're stretched too thin trying to guard the entire river. If the brass back home could get their heads out of their asses long enough to send support, we could turn this all around."
(Major Polatli's dialogue)
- The Courier: "What do you need help with?"
Joseph Polatli: "I'm short staffed and I don't have the time to take care of some issues around the camp. I need someone to talk to a few of the officers and help them resolve some of the problems around here."
(Major Polatli's dialogue)
- The Courier: "What do you need help with?"
Joseph Polatli: "I've got the Legion at Nelson breathing down my neck and not enough men or supplies to get this camp into fighting shape so we can strike back. I need someone to talk to a few of the officers and help them resolve some of the problems around here. If I can get this place in order, then I can focus our efforts on taking back Nelson from the Legion. And the more that gets done around here, the more resources I'll be able to put into assaulting Nelson."
(Major Polatli's dialogue)
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition pp. 417-418: "[6.02] Camp Forlorn Hope
After NCR captured Hoover Dam, it took them a while to fully reinforce the river to the south. The first camp that was established was Camp Forlorn Hope; an improvised mess of tin shacks, salvaged rubble from Boulder City, tents, and lots of sandbags, it is the most pathetic-looking of all NCR's camps, but the one that sees the most action. It only exists at all because of the natural spring there (in fact the camp is named for the spring). Recently, Caesar's Legion captured NCR's logistical/planning forces in the ruins of the small, ruined town of Nelson, a disaster that has disrupted Forlorn's Hopes attempts to patrol the western coast of the river.
Graveyard of No Hope
A nickname some in the camp whisper about the collection of graves of the fallen, on a two-tiered promontory behind the shacks, overlooking the Colorado River. Shoot the Bloatflies in the area for sport. Due to the height disadvantage, attack from here only if you plan to be stealthy."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
- Fallout: New Vegas 10th Anniversary Charity Stream (reference starts at 2:39:28)
Joshua Sawyer: "'How long was spent designing Camp Forlorn Hope?' Uh, quite a while, that was largely Charlie Staples, our lead area designer. Charlie Staples and I conceived it and then Charlie did, I think... almost all the core design work and dialogues in there. Yeah, that was a lot of work."