Johnson was a soldier in the Enclave, serving as the squad marksman in Captain Judah Kreger's squad at Navarro with Orion Moreno, Doctor Henry, Daisy Whitman, and Arcade Gannon's father; he was known to often be in conflict with fellow squadmate Orion over their differing philosophies. Johnson hated the Enclave and everything they did; he often tried to subvert orders and "serve without serving." In contrast with Moreno, Johnson actually agrees with a lot of the NCR's goals and believes them to be the Mojave's best hope for a stable and free future.[Non-canon 1]
Sometime after the destruction of Control station Enclave, the NCR sacked Navarro and Johnson, his squad, Arcade Gannon's mother, and a young Arcade Gannon fled south into the NCR. They continued to flee east as Enclave personnel trying to integrate into the NCR were being found. Johnson and the squad eventually settled in the Mojave Wasteland and went their separate ways. Johnson eventually settled down with a tribal girl he had met, but never had any children before she passed away. Now he sits alone in his cave, waiting for death to take him for the sins he'd committed while with the Enclave. He also reminisces about his former commander, Arch Dornan, saying "he was the meanest bastard [he] ever knew."
When asked about his nickname, he explains to the Courier that one day when he was surrounded by raiders and, out of options, he did the first thing that occurred to him: bite into the heart of one the raiders he had already taken down. This shock tactic caused some of the others to flee, and bought him the time he needed to kill the rest - and ever since the name has stuck, his improvisation growing into mystique.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is a temporary companion.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
- For Auld Lang Syne: Cannibal Johnson is one of five Enclave remnants the Courier must recruit.
Effects of player's actions
- During For Auld Lang Syne, if the player character encourages the Remnants to aid the Legion during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, Johnson will refuse to participate in the attack and will leave the Remnants meeting in disgust. Unlike the similar scenario which occurs with Moreno if the player character encourages the Remnants to side with the NCR, Johnson cannot be convinced through any means to join the attack if the Legion is supported.
- In addition to For Auld Lang Syne, Johnson will usually follow the Courier into the Legate's camp when fighting for an independent Vegas or NCR.
- Attacking the brahmin in the camp will turn him hostile.
- When working for Mr. House and having the Securitrons kill General Oliver and his NCR Rangers, Cannibal Johnson will attack the Courier alongside the Rangers and Oliver.
- With a Speech check of 30, Johnson will tell the Courier why he's named "Cannibal Johnson."
* Second Battle of Hoover Dam only
Cannibal's word for the Remnants bunker is "old."
Cannibal Johnson appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
If one continues to talk to him about the Enclave, he will have a dialogue option about a drill sergeant who once caught a soldier without his uniform. This is a reference to Fallout 2 when the Chosen One travels to Navarro and talks to the drill sergeant there without wearing advanced power armor, Dornan will yell at them for being out of uniform.
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.361: "[3.11] Cannibal Johnson's Cave
On the bluffs northwest of Camp Golf [3.23], close to Vault 34 [3.12], is a slit in the rocks above a steep gully, which sports a battered old door. Check the Hollowed-Out Rock at the entrance. Enter, and watch your step!
Deactivate the Bear Trap on the floor. Speak with Cannibal Johnson, and he greets you as an old friend. It’s only when you talk more that you realize he was hoping it was death. At this point, you can speak to him about “mean old” drill Sergeant Dornan, his time in the military, and whether he’s a Cannibal. He isn’t saying. But recalls a story where he bit the heart out of a Raider when he was surrounded. He also mentions his tribal wife, with pretty eyes. She’s dead a long time, now.
Cannibal Johnson looks like an accomplished hunter. There's also ground-water to drink, which is cleaner than it appears."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)