During the Great War, the bombs forced the Searchlight police department to divert a convoy carrying nuclear waste from San Onofre into Searchlight, so that the waste could be safely stored. The trucks could be parked at the fire station without exposing them to nuclear blasts that would turn the sealed, secure fuel casks transported on the flatbeds into massive dirty bombs.
The spent nuclear fuel rods remained there for over two centuries. When the New California Republic deployed in force to the Mojave, Searchlight was chosen as a site for a military base. Camp Searchlight was established, becoming a major communications and logistics hub for the NCR Army. However, this simultaneously made it a target for the Legion. Vulpes Inculta devised a plan that involved using frumentarii to intercept shipments of supplies meant for the camp, depriving the troops of necessary materials and stockpiling them for later use by the Legion.
As the supply issues worsened, tensions emerged among the camp's senior staff, and the frumentarii waited for an opening in the camp's defenses. The opportunity came soon, as the patrol routes were changed again for operational security reasons. As usual, gaps opened in the patrol routes as the troops had to get used to the new schedule.
The second initiative perpetrated by Vulpes was the one that caused the camp's destruction. He sent in a small group of legionaries, ordering them to infiltrate the fire station and unseal the nuclear fuel casks, unleashing lethal levels of radiation on the camp. The legionaries were killed instantly alongside some NCR personnel. The rest of the NCR soldiers turned into ghouls or died soon thereafter of radiation sickness. Only a handful of troops out on patrol survived, rallying under First Sergeant Astor. In the meantime, a task force under centurion Aurelius of Phoenix landed at Cottonwood Cove, establishing a beachhead on the western side of the Colorado River and immediately launching raids on both the surviving NCR troops and especially supply and trade caravans heading up to New Vegas. Further legionary groups moved up north and west as time went by, targeting Nelson and Nipton to lay the groundwork for the Second Battle of Hoover Dam.
Searchlight surrounds Highway 95 on a north-south axis, and is mostly intact considering the two centuries of neglect and the recent radioactive devastation unleashed by Caesar's Legion. The sole remaining NCR camp is located on the outskirts of the town to the northeast, staffed by what remains of the Searchlight garrison. Other signs of life are located in the basement of the ruined church in the western part of town, where Logan and a few other prospectors are busy preparing to loot the town on a contract from the Crimson Caravan Company. The terrified Private Edwards is hiding in a Searchlight home near the church.
The streets of the town and much of the surrounding environs are prowling with feral ghouls bearing NCR colors. They include regular ferals, glowing ones, and a few who managed to retain their motor skills who move and attack like normal humans but only with combat knives. They are most common in the center and to the northeast, where the Camp's command was located (at the former Searchlight police station) and the trucks used to set up the base were parked. The Searchlight fire station (Searchlight Fire & Rescue Station No. 1) is in the heart of town and contains the pre-War transport of spent fuel rods that were used to turn the entire area into an irradiated hellhole. The station is locked, with keys carried by Logan. Entering it will prompt a swift response from the radscorpion queen and several radscorpions that set up a nest there. To the south is the Searchlight Elementary School with another ruined church. The school is "attended" by several golden geckos, who enjoy the warmth of the town's radiation. Further out is the trailer park that served the inhabitants of the town.
The NCR set up a network of defensive turrets to protect the perimeter, with terminals placed in cover nearby. The turrets are found near the police station, behind the fire station and on the intersection just south of it, and under the Cottonwood Cove Road bridge passing over Highway 95.
Camp Searchlight has several buildings that can be entered, all of which are radioactive alongside the town. The buildings which can be entered include a schoolhouse with a few golden geckos, a house containing the non-hostile ghoul Private Edwards, and a church on the western end of town, containing Logan and his prospector companions who are looting the town for the Crimson Caravan Company. Upon entering the fire station, where the radioactive canisters were originally stored and opened, the Courier will immediately encounter a radscorpion queen and several normal radscorpions. To enter the firehouse, Logan needs to be joined or killed, as he holds the key. There are several terminals outside that control the turret defense system.
Astor's recon camp
The devastating radiation attack by the Legion on Camp Searchlight has pushed the surviving NCR soldiers back to a minimum safe distance. The fury and emotion are still raw, as First Sergeant Astor leads his men on patrol and witnesses what his brothers-in-arms have turned into. In the modest camp, First Sergeant Astor's log can be found, revealing that he blames himself for the incident.
- Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual - In the east church's basement, by the eastern wall, at the foot of the metal shelves, on the floor.
- Knock-Knock - Unique fire axe in the righthand corner of the bathroom stall with the skeleton in it, upstairs in the Searchlight fire station. This is only obtainable after starting the quest Wheel of Fortune or killing Logan and taking the key.
- Seven fire helmets - In the fire station, with five on the ground floor shelves, one upstairs in the chief's office on a shelf, and one in the bathroom stall where Knock-Knock is found.
- Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap - In the fire station. Upstairs in the northeast corner in the kitchen area, on a table next to two empty bottles.
- Legion orders - In the fire station, found on two recruit legionaries in the garage.
- NCR computer parts and NCR radio parts - In the police station, the quest items for Wheel of Fortune.
- Holy Frag Grenades - In the gecko-filled Searchlight church basement. If the Wild Wasteland perk is not selected, the hand grenades will appear as two mini nukes. Three
- The background music is City of the Dead which was originally used for Necropolis in Fallout, as well as Navarro and Vault 15 in Fallout 2.
- "REVELATION 9:6" is printed on the board outside of the western church, with the "L" being an upside-down "T." This verse reads "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them."
- Multiple Searchlight firetrucks appear in the Divide, in the add-on Lonesome Road.
- If the Courier follows Vulpes Inculta's recruit group, they will pass by here and get into a fight with the NCR troops around 5:30 p.m.
- Camp Searchlight can be seen without the green haze in the E3 2010 trailer.
- The trucks in Searchlight carrying the nuclear waste were part of the same convoy as the truck poised on the overlook above Cottonwood Cove.
Camp Searchlight appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- Camp Searchlight is based on the real world location of Searchlight in Clark County, Nevada.
- Searchlight was implemented and written by Denise McMurry, based on a concept outlined by Joshua Sawyer.
- Boxcars while on the Wheel of Fortune quest, his body should have both keys on it.[verified] Logan will not talk with the player character. Also, he does not have the key when pickpocketed or killed, if having already killed other characters involved in obtaining Knock-Knock. Note: if killed before killing
- If the player character discovers and raids the supply cave before approaching Logan, it will be impossible to proceed with the quest, only if the 4 radiation suits have been repaired to make one radiation suit already.[verified]
- Two firetrucks, both stationed behind the Camp Searchlight fire station, don't have fully developed physical properties. The back end of each of the trucks has no physical properties whatsoever and the player character can clip through them, with the exception of the cabs.[verified]
- Camp Searchlight terminal entries; Chief fire officer terminal, Chief Fire Officer Report No. F1-218
- Camp Searchlight terminal entries; NCR storage database, Log Entry #1836
- Camp Searchlight terminal entries; NCR storage database, Log Entry #2257
- Camp Searchlight terminal entries; NCR communications terminal, Communications Entry #842
- Camp Searchlight terminal entries; NCR communications terminal, Communications Entry #923
- Camp Searchlight terminal entries; NCR communications terminal, Communications Entry #937
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition pp. 421-422: "[6.16] Camp Searchlight
As an unfortunate twist of fate would have it, a convoy of flatbed trucks transporting nuclear waste from San Onofre was passing through Searchlight when the Great War broke out. Local police directed the drivers to temporarily park their vehicles in the fire department, but no one ever came back to retrieve them. There they sat in their extremely sturdy solid steel spent fuel flasks for over 200 years. The NCR recently set up a sizable base here, but this was a major obstacle for Caesar's Legion due to its size and clear view of the surrounding desert. When it became obvious that a direct assault would not prove fruitful, Vulpes Inculta sent in some spies to learn more about the situation. After he learned about the radioactive waste being stored in the fire station, he ordered some unwitting legionaries to open the containers. Though the legionaries died almost instantly, the sacrifice produced a massive wave of death and ghoulification among NCR troops that effectively destroyed Camp Searchlight as a viable military base. (Upper) Restrooms: There's a skeleton of a long-dead fireman in one of the stalls, and an extra-special Fireaxe!"
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
- The Courier: "What happened at Searchlight?"
Hanlon: "Searchlight was worse. One of Caesar's must have found something in there, flooded the whole camp with radiation."
- The Courier: "How did you survive?"
Astor: "I was out on patrol at the time so I wasn't in the camp when it happened. There were a few others with me after it happened, including some of my superiors. Between radiation poisoning and attacks by the Legion they all died out."
- The Courier: "You must be the one in charge here."
Aurelius of Phoenix: " When drove the NCR from Searchlight by clever means, himself ordered me to set up this camp and harass the Profligates! It's a modest presence, a single finger of the Legion reaching across the river's narrows. But with me here, it has an iron knuckle."
(Aurelius of Phoenix's dialogue)
- Haze free at the 1:00 mark
- J.E. Sawyer on Formspring