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The quick... the quick scribe... jumped over the lazy paladin.

Knight Christine Royce[2] is an ex-Brotherhood scribe and an operative of the Circle of Steel, and one of the three companions in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Dead Money. She also makes a brief appearance in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Old World Blues, in the form of voice recordings.

She is the estranged partner of Veronica Santangelo, which plays a part in her determination to hunt down Elder Elijah.[1][Non-game 1][Non-game 2][Non-game 3] The pair were in a gay relationship despite the implicit homophobia of their culture, and were subsequently separated.

Background

Early life

Born and raised in the Brotherhood and becoming a scribe,[3] Christine's career in the Brotherhood would have likely been ordinary, until she fell in love with a fellow scribe, Veronica Santangelo.[1][Non-game 1][Non-game 2][Non-game 3] The exceptionally talented Veronica was the protege of Elder Elijah, a technical genius and a rarity of a non-paladin bearing the Brotherhood's highest rank. When Brotherhood politics led to Elijah being dispatched eastwards, to the Mojave Wasteland, he wanted to bring Veronica with him and so he used his status to break their relationship apart. Christine was cut off, leaving Veronica convinced that she left the Brotherhood permanently due to her parents' homophobia (interpreting the Brotherhood's elitism as a mandate for all members to procreate to maintain the population).[1] In reality, it was all the machinations of Elijah, who wanted Veronica to himself. Christine didn't actually leave the Brotherhood. Instead, she joined the Circle, to find a new purpose under the same banner. She assumed the rank of a buck knight - and when Elijah deserted his chapter during Operation: Sunburst, she was ordered by the Circle to track him down and kill him.[4]

Pursuing Elijah

Following his long trail of crimes across the wasteland,[4] she eventually managed to track him down at the Big Empty, finding the rogue elder picking through the pre-War labs in the crater. She observed him for several days, eventually setting up an ambush near his camp at Little Yangtze. However, she was unaware that Elijah discovered her presence on the fourth day there, due to sunlight glinting off her rifle's scope while doing recon.[5] When she moved to intercept him, Elijah lured her inside the camp, then deliberately provoked the ghoulified inmates to attack. Christine was caught in an explosion from one of their collars going off, wounding her to the point she lost consciousness. Interpreted by robotic staff as a wounded camp inmate, she was brought to the Y-17 medical facility and subjected to experiments by the automated programs once she recovered. The prototype Auto-Docs primarily operated on her brain, cutting and applying electrodes, like they would to a lobotomite.[6] The neurosurgery did significant damage to various parts of her brain, the most severe of which is alexia: Christine has great difficulty reading, though she can do maths and calculations just fine. She's aware she got off lucky, as other "patients" were mutilated much more severely, depriving them of hearing or lobotomized to the point they were just gibbering wrecks.[7][8]

Before the damage could become any worse, she was rescued by Ulysses, who forced his way into the facility using explosives.[6] She recovered under his care for several days in a nearby cave, during which they shared lengthy discussions and arguments over the finer points of history and politics, primarily the failure of modern civilizations like the New California Republic or Caesar's Legion to forge a new future. She vehemently disagreed his assertion that the Brotherhood is a similar failure, with the two ultimately agreeing to disagree.[9] Once Ulysses met the Think Tank and received his answers, he revealed to Christine that Elijah was going after the Sierra Madre and its bounty.[10] Horrifyingly scarred both figuratively and literally,[11] but determined to hunt him down and get out of Big MT, Christine didn't investigate whether the brain damage could be reversed at Y-17. She resumed her pursuit, replacing the original armor and rifle she lost with the Big MT Mark I stealth suit.[7]

The Heist

Successfully tracking Elijah down to the derelict Sierra Madre Casino & Resort, Christine ended up caught in a trap and was captured by the super mutant, Dog who himself was enslaved to Elijah. Fitted with an explosive collar, the assassin had no choice but to aid the rogue elder in his attempt to break into the casino. However, it was not the end of her troubles at the Sierra Madre. The ghoul survivalist, Dean Domino, another of Elijah's unwilling servants who coincidentally was also looking for a way to break into the Casino, saw in Christine an opportunity to finally carry out the plan he'd been working on since before the Great War. After luring Christine into the Villa clinic, Dean trapped her inside a malfunctioning Auto-Doc. Using pre-War routines developed for Vera Keyes,[12] he set the machine to operate on Christine's voice box, surgically altering it to sound like Keyes[13] in order to bypass the voice lock on the Madre's underground vault that would only recognize hers. Christine was initially not aware of Dean's role, assuming it was Elijah that trapped her.[14] Regardless, the memory of her attacker was soon overwritten by the sheer trauma she endured trapped inside the cramped shell of the Auto-Doc, the machine continuing to operate on her, repeating the procedure several times. This resulted in the Auto-Doc's reserve of stimpaks being exhausted after just one hour, forcing Christine to experience being carved open repeatedly by automated scalpels without anesthetic or painkillers for two weeks.[15] By the time of the Courier's arrival, the traumatic experience temporarily destroyed her ability to speak while she healed and gave her an intense case of claustrophobia. However, the fresh scarring on her throat was the least of her problems as Elijah still continued to elude her.[16][1][17]

After the Courier assembled their team of Dog, Dean, and Christine to carry out Elijah's plan to open the Madre, as the most technically capable member of the heist crew, Christine was assigned to the switching station to help trigger the Gala. Upon reaching the controls in the station, however, she realized that to carry out her part, she had to climb down into a narrow, confined space, surrounded by deteriorated machines that would give off horrifying noise very much like the sounds made by an Auto-Doc. Whether or not she entered the space via the Courier's actions and conduct towards her ultimately determined her opinion of them and her ultimate fate in the Sierra Madre.

When the team split up to each make their way inside the casino during the Gala, they were all rendered unconscious by a gas sprayed into the foyer.[18] While Dog was taken to the Cantina Madrid and Dean to the Tampico Theatre, the Casino's automated systems recognized Christine as Vera Keyes and brought her to the executive suites. As she was trapped inside the starlet's old room, Christine used her time there to repair the damage done to her with Vera's properly functioning Auto-Doc, as well as more closely study the mechanics of the collars. Upon realizing that she could alter her own collar frequency to mimic the speakers' interference and detonate it prematurely, she laid a trap for her target.[19][20]

Upon being asked why she would go to such lengths, Christine reveals a simple reason; after what feels like a lifetime of suffering, she had her target finally within reach. She had lost him countless times, only to barely pick up the trail, witnessing his horrifying crimes that make the Madre atrocities pale in comparison.[21] Being forced to do much the same herself for even more hopeless causes in the course of her hunt,[22] her mission had turned into a vendetta of the most personal kind.[23] She desires to kill him personally to be sure that she slew the monster,[24] though she stops short of making a suicidal attack - it is a poor vengeance that harms the avenger.[25] Should the Courier have abused her trust and forced her to relive her trauma in the switching station, she shows she had no qualms killing them too as they demonstrated the same kind of morality as Elijah, a person she utterly hates:[26] If they abused her, while their fates were tied together by the explosive collars, it would mean to Christine that without the collars they'd do much worse. It is something she cannot permit; monsters hurting the people of the wasteland need to die.[27][28]

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

Interactions
Perk nociception regulator color
This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed. Last Luxuries
Paving the Way
This character is a permanent companion. They grant the Signal Interference perk.
FO76 ui icon quest
This character is involved in quests.
2d20 Terrifying Presence
This character has Terrifying Presence interactions.

Quests

  • Find Collar 12: Christine: The Courier has to travel to the villa clinic to find her. Once inside, they have to release her and take her to the fountain in front of the Sierra Madre. Threatening Christine with locking her up in the Auto-Doc will cause her to perceive the Courier as a monster from the start.
  • Mixed Signals: The Courier has to escort Christine to the Puesta del Sol switching station to get her ready for her part of the Trigger the Gala Event quest. How the player chooses to convince her to get into the confined space at the station is a major factor in whether she considers the Courier an ally or a monster to be put down:
    • Helping her operate the switching station remotely requires either Science 100 or the maintenance password from Ennis's locker. This will make her friendly at the Casino.
    • Lying to her or using Terrifying Presence perk to force her into the elevator results in a loss of karma and makes her hostile.
  • Last Luxuries: The Courier has to find and confront Christine in the Sierra Madre Casino & Resort. If friendly, she will assist the player character in the final confrontation and help figure out some of Vera Keyes and the Madre's backstory. If she considers the Courier a monster, the player will have to kill her to proceed. The encounter can be difficult, as at this point Christine has mastered the use of explosive collars, and will use a proximity detonator that will kill the Courier if she gets in close.
  • Heist of the Centuries: Christine can use her new voice to unlock the elevator to the Sierra Madre vault. Additionally, she will turn off the turrets for the player during the fight with Elijah if she was kept on good terms.

Companion

  • The player character must have a high Perception or Intelligence in order to understand her properly. Various skill checks require: PER 6, 8; INT 6, 7; Speech 50; Science 60, 75; Medicine 60, 75; Explosives 60. (Explosives 60 and Science 60 are both options in the same conversation and give the same result.) The Math Wrath, Cherchez La Femme and Confirmed Bachelor perks, as well as Power Armor Training and Brotherhood of Steel reputation, give additional conversation options.
  • When the Courier travels with Christine, she will be able to block out radio and speaker signals for a short time. She will also increase the amount of time taken for the collar to detonate.
  • She knows how to counterfeit Sierra Madre chips, and can give the player character the Coin Operator perk with the right dialogue options.

Other interactions

  • If the player character has at least 75 Medicine and initiates "You were badly hurt by that Autodoc" dialogue option, there is an additional dialogue option when discussing Christine's love interest ("Oh, girlfriend") and one can easily calm her down, stating that the player character understands her situation.
  • If the player character has the Cherchez La Femme or Confirmed Bachelor perk there is an additional interaction with Christine when they leave her at her post before the Gala Opening. If the Courier accepts to hold Christine's hand, they can promise that they will return for her.

Endings

This section is transcluded from Dead Money endings. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.
# Slide Voice-over narration In-game condition
1
Nvdlc01 eg christine
Christine, scarred by her hunt for Elijah and unable to let him go, perished in the Sierra Madre Casino. She never completed her mission, nor did she stop to consider what had driven her to accept the mission in the first place. Obsession is another form of greed, a lesson that Christine never learned. Christine is dead.
2
Nvdlc01 eg christine
Christine, her mission complete, found new purpose as the Sierra Madre's warden. She watched over it silently - by choice. Over time, the ghost people came to see her as one of the Holograms. They would watch, silently, as she walked among them. At times, Christine thought of the Courier, who had kept Elijah's hand from her throat. The Courier reminded her of the other courier she had met in the Big Empty, and wondered if the two had found each other at last. She did not think of them again until she heard the legends of the Divide. The Divide, where the two messengers, the two couriers, fought beneath an ancient flag, at the edge of the world. Christine is alive.

Inventory

Apparel Weapon Other items On death
Wasteland doctor fatigues
Sierra Madre armor, reinforced (during the final quest),
explosive collar

Notable quotes

Behind the scenes

There are technical reasons (that I’ve gone over before) for why DLC characters can’t come back into the main game/reference each other. That’s separate from any narrative reasons why Christine and Veronica couldn’t interact, though I should also say that I conceived Veronica’s F:NV plot arc before/separately from what Chris Avellone developed for Dead Money.
I think Veronica is relatively happy (an important qualifier in setting where most things are miserable) and any tragedy in her ending slides has more to do with the state of the BoS than her personal relationships. Most other companions don’t speak of their romantic relationships. Arcade and Cassidy mention some in passing, but nothing in particular. Boone’s wife is the source of a lot of personal anguish. You could make an argument that Boone’s or Veronica’s relationships are more tragic than the other, but both of them qualify as not good.
— Joshua Sawyer on Tumblr[Non-game 2]
Hi Josh! My question is about F:NV and the DLC Dead Money (my favorite~ ha) I have to admit, after meeting Christine and running as fast as I could to Veronica to explain my experience in that world, I was disheartened to only give her a holotape from her previous Elder and not get a reaction from her about, who I assumed to be, her previous lover. Was there ever going to be a dialogue option about them? I guess I'm asking for closure :')

I cannot speak for Chris Avellone (who wrote and directed Dead Money), but I believe we were limited by time/scheduling. Veronica was written and recorded for the base New Vegas game with (IIRC) only a few hooks for Dead Money. I think reactions to Dead Money content itself would have required a more comprehensive level of (way) advanced planning, i.e., we would have needed to know exactly what Veronica was reacting to in Dead Money at the time that we recorded her for New Vegas.

Either that or we would have needed to book Felicia Day for more studio time during the development of Dead Money. That can also be difficult and expensive, especially since voice actors and studio time are generally booked in multiple hour blocks. It’s difficult to justify if the character is only saying two or three new lines.

It also gets a little messy when trying to decide where to draw the line. I think a lot of people would love to see some resolution between Christine and Veronica, but what about Caesar responding to the events of Honest Hearts? I wrote Joshua Graham and directed Honest Hearts, so I can speak more definitively to that. The limited reactivity Caesar could have about JG/HH wouldn’t really justify the expense of bringing John Doman back into the studio. And of course the new dialogue (minor as it might be) would still need to be tested. Caesar had one of the most complex dialogues in New Vegas, so it’s something we really tried to avoid messing with once the game shipped.

I know that might seem a little silly, but because recording expenses can be high and recording sessions typically happen late in development, it’s often safer to err on the side of caution.
J.E. Sawyer on technical limitations behind the decision to not provide definite resolution for Christina and Veronica
  • A cut ending slide suggests that in one versions of the story it was possible for Christine to finally corner and kill Elijah herself.
  • In Old World Blues, when speaking to Dala, the player character has the option to say "The quick scribe jumps over the lazy paladin" for observational purposes, which Christine also says. The above line is a play on the well-known phrase, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," which is an English pangram, a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet (obviously, the Brotherhood version is not).
  • Christina Royce was originally an NCR-aligned character who appeared in early story drafts for Van Buren.

Appearances

Christine Royce appears only in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Dead Money. However, her voice is also heard in the add-on Old World Blues and she is mentioned in the add-on Lonesome Road.

Bugs

PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 If the player character has Dean Domino or Dog/God as a companion, the camera may center directly through the player character's head (or chest) during the first bit of dialogue with Christine. [verified]

  • A possible fix is setting any companions to wait before starting a dialogue with her.

Gallery

Notes

  1. She is the third shortest adult character in game; her height is only 92% of the normal size. Other small characters are Sunny Smiles (95%), Sammy Weathers (92.5%), the Gomorrah floor manager (90%) and the shortest, Irate Ida (85% of normal height).

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Courier: "Ever been in love?"
    Veronica Santangelo: "Ever been nosy? I was, once. We were pretty young, but I like to think it was love."
    The Courier: "What happened?"
    Veronica Santangelo: "She left the Brotherhood. Wanted to put some distance between herself and her parents. Since our membership isn't open to outsiders, some members think that obligates all of us to procreate. You can guess which camp her parents belonged to."
    The Courier: "You didn't go with her?"
    Veronica Santangelo: "No. Couldn't bring myself to leave everyone else behind. Couldn't convince her to stay, either. I'd hoped love would be enough to influence her decision, but it wasn't. We were both too stubborn. I don't know where she is now, but I'm sure she's moved on. I still think about her, though. Once in a while."
    (Veronica Santangelo's dialogue)
  2. Christine Royce: "This is Knight Christine Royce, of the Brotherhood... Christine Royce."
    (Christine Royce's dialogue)
  3. The Courier: "[BOS] You were a Brotherhood of Steel Scribe?"
    Christine Royce: [She nods. She looks impressed.]
    (Christine Royce's dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Courier: "Sounds personal."
    Christine Royce: "He... cut me off from someone I cared about a long time ago. He used his status to break us apart. So I had to find a new purpose, same banner. Then he became unstable, left a trail of crimes across the wasteland. Once word reached us, I was ordered to kill him."
  5. Little Yangtze terminal entries, Elijah's journal - Day 4 - Addendum
  6. 6.0 6.1 Patient log: Y-17.0
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Courier: "You said you got off lucky?"
    Christine Royce: "Yeah... I saw records of other "patients," and what had been done to them. Some couldn't hear anything but static. Others, just... gibbering wrecks. Never going back... and Elijah was on his way here, so I couldn't stop to see if it was something I could fix... ...if you can even fix what happened to me when they jabbed the electrodes into my skull and turned my head into a flashlight. Then I got here, and my voice got severed... now I have a new one. Another thing Elijah has to answer for."
    (Christine Royce's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "Can the Auto-Doc heal your scars?"
    Christine Royce: "No... they run a lot deeper than that. While I was hunting Elijah in the Big Empty, he trapped me in one of those medical research centers buried there. It... did something to my head... and I got off lucky. It's difficult enough to read now, and somehow the leap between what's in my head and words... ...it just ends up being a mish-mash of symbols, not letters. Can still do math, formulas, equations... writing poetry's out."
    (Christine Royce's dialogue)
  9. Ulysses log Y-17.15
  10. Ulysses log Y-17.9
  11. Courier: "He said he knew you."
    Christine Royce: "He saw me, before the scars, at a place far from here. It's where he found some of the technology he uses now. {Remembering a bad experience, somber}It's a place called the Big Empty. The name's deceptive - if you know where to look. {Still reflecting}Almost got trapped there. There was someone else, though, who came along. Knew about Elijah."
  12. Villa clinic terminal entries, Appointment Calendar
  13. Courier: "So the Auto-Doc cut your voice box, not your scalp."
    Christine Royce: "[Christine nods.]"
  14. The Courier: "Elijah didn't put you in the Auto-Doc... Dean did."
    Christine Royce: "Dean? Dean Domino? Why would he want to torture me? If he wanted to do that, he could keep his singing career going... or keep staring at me."
    The Courier: "He wasn't trying to torture you, he needed to alter your voice to use an audio-lock."
    Christine Royce: "An audio-lock to where? To the Sierra Madre vault. It's voice-activated. And he wanted in. That makes sense. So... those bodies in the Clinic... all right. Dean always felt like the odd one out, and he kept... studying me. He was trying to figure out if I recognized him... and see if my throat healed. I'll deal with you first, then I'll deal with him."
    (Christine Royce's dialogue)
  15. Christince Royce: "Did you know the Stimpak reservoirs ran out within an hour of being in there? I was in there for two weeks, and it kept... repeating the procedure. {Disgust}No Med-X, no stims, just... that {emph}sound, feeling the scalpels... cut. {Cold}Now... we're going to see how you like it when someone else is in control."
    (Christine Royce's dialogue)
  16. The Courier: "Those facial scars weren't done by the Auto-Doc - the throat scar was."
    Christine Royce: [SUCCEEDED] [She nods... slowly, then puts her hand in front her throat, closes it slowly, then points at you.]
    (Christine Royce's dialogue)
  17. The Courier: "You were looking for someone?"
    Christine Royce: [She nods and raises a finger.]
    The Courier: "A robot?"
    Christine Royce: [She shakes her head and pumps her fist near her chest.]
    The Courier: "Man?"
    Christine Royce: [She nods. She makes a motion with her hands around her chin, drawing it down, and then she raises her hands and clenches them at the sky.]
    The Courier: "Or a woman?"
    Christine Royce: [She shakes her head... then stops mid-way, frowns... then tilts her head, as if thinking. She seems lost in thought for a moment.] [She glances at you, as if caught, then she smiles slightly, but there's an edge to it. Then she shakes her head, slowly, once.]
    (Christine Royce's dialogue)
  18. Courier: "How did you get here from the Gala Event? And onto this floor?"
    Christine Royce: "{Deliver this slow, thoughtful, seems like a dupe, isn't}The Gala went off, the Switching Station opened up - {to herself, rueful}thought the screeching in the Auto-Doc was bad, Station worse. Got outside, saw the light show, and it was enough to make me run to the casino. Also... it seemed like the lights and speakers were helping to guide me... guess your master wanted a back-up in case you died. As for being assigned to this floor... maybe it's because of my new voice. Your guess is as good as mine. {Beat, sarcastic}Maybe it recognized me as a guest."
  19. Courier: "Anything you can download off of it?"
    Christine Royce: "{Slightly impressed}Looks like you got almost everything, not much more {emph}I can extract... {slight smile}"doctor." {Operating a terminal, hunting through folders}I can see... check the root, recent diagnostics… Lot of Med-X was dispensed for... Vera Keyes. {To herself,}Guess that's her corpse there for certain... and why all those meds are scattered around in here. ...here's the medical report. {Scanning, somber}Looks like she had some sort of terminal condition... diagnosis isn't conclusive, {to herself}must have been painful. I'm not even sure she knew, if these medical reports are enough. She must have been numb most of the time."
  20. Courier: "What are you planning to do?"
    Christine Royce: "When we first met, I thought I recognized the collar technology. Just needed some time to experiment with it. I noticed the signal lag as soon as you arrived on the floor. Collar detonator signal's down to a dull thud, more like a heartbeat than a screech. You think you can kill me, then make a run for the exit before my dead man's signal catches you and blows that collar. {Beat, player walked into trap}Not gonna be that easy. The Suites here gave me enough tools and enough time that our frequencies... I can push and pull that collar of yours however I want."
  21. Courier: "Do you trust me? If you do, let go of this."
    Christine Royce: "I can't let go. Every time I've thought about it… {Quiet}I've lost him so many times. He needs to die... what happened here, with us? {Doesn't want to think about it}He's... he's done so much worse."
  22. Courier: "Aren't you upset?"
    Christine Royce: "{Grim, shakes head}I've... done worse. Much worse... and for more hopeless causes, and I will again."
  23. Courier: "If you try and kill him, I can't let you do it. If you die, you'll kill us both."
    Christine Royce: "{Quiet}I can't. It's my mission, has been. {Beat}This has to be done."
  24. Courier: "If he kills you, I won't be able to get out."
    Christine Royce: "I know. And he {pause}will kill me, I can't get the collar off. Even if I could, I need to be sure - see his eyes, his face, when he dies."
  25. Courier: "Let him come through the suites, follow me. If he escapes, you'll still be here, waiting."
    Christine Royce: "{Quiet}You have to promise me. Promise me you'll deal with him... if I see him, I…"
  26. Courier: "So after your speech about control, now you're going to use the collars like Elijah did?"
    Christine Royce: "{Frowns, slow}You know what... you're right. I don't need to use the same methods to kill you, and I shouldn't... it would make me as bad as Elijah is. {Cold, low}All right - forget the proximity frequency, we'll decide this ourselves."
  27. Courier: "We're inside the casino. We don't need to fight anymore, it's useless."
    Christine Royce: "[FAILED] I believe you. And that's not the point. That collar... I believe you got caught by Elijah, too. I don't think it changes who you are. How you behaved in the Villa... all that was you. And as bad as these collars are, maybe it kept you from being {emph}worse. And that's the worst part about all this. That it takes something like that to keep you from hurting someone else."
  28. Courier: "Even with the differences in the Villa, I don't want to fight."
    Christine Royce: "[SUCCEEDED] No, I believe you. All along, you were watching out for yourself. I understand. But I wonder what you would have done if there hadn't been these collars. Would you have gotten me out of the Clinic at all? So as long as we're "in this together," and it's a choice between you and me? I know what you're going to choose. I'm not gonna wait for that to happen - again. I'm tired of being controlled."
Non-game
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