“Get up without my permission, I'll blast your ass so far through your head, it'll turn the moon cherry pie red. So - let's keep this sweet and polite, and finish our conversation with no misunderstandings.”
Dean Domino, also known as the King of Swing, is a famous pre-War lounge singer, now ghoulified and trapped in the Villa in 2281.
Domino and his orchestra gave performances across the United States and Europe (including Paris, and had a particularly bad experience in Madrid), including the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. While Domino was quite irritated by this, it was the fact that Sinclair, despite suffering several quite severe financial losses throughout the 2070s, still maintained an unwavering optimistic and easy-going attitude that especially triggered his ire. Soon, Domino found himself consumed with jealousy and he became single-mindedly determined to put Sinclair "in his place" by taking everything from him that he held dear. He enlisted the help of his former lover Vera Keyes, a starlet who had caught Sinclair's eye. Domino introduced them to each other as part of his plan to break into the casino vault, where he would take whatever it was that Sinclair had there that was so important. However, Keyes got cold feet, so in order to ensure her continued cooperation, Domino began to blackmail her with evidence of a Med-X addiction, unaware that her addiction was a result of her being terminally ill. His final gig was to be at The Tampico, but that all changed when the bombs dropped; the security holograms activated and the Gala Event turned into a massacre.
Domino survived the apocalypse and the casino's security systems but refused to let go of the Sierra Madre's treasure, becoming obsessed with it. He would spend the next two hundred years plotting his grand heist, oblivious to the fact that Sinclair had long since discovered Domino's plan and prepared a trap within the casino vault. However, he was captured by Dog, fitted with an explosive collar, and forced to work for Father Elijah in breaking into the casino (and already managed to trigger the Gala event at least once for him). Although his ability to obtain the treasure may have diminished with this development, his lust for it most certainly has not. Nor did his desire for freedom: Dean has killed several victims Elijah tried to use to crack the Sierra Madre, in order to examine the workings of their collars and figure out a way to remove his own.
Needing a replacement for Keyes' part of his plan, Domino finally found an opportunity when Christine Royce was captured by Dog and brought to Sierra Madre. While she was still out cold, he dragged her to the Villa's clinic and placed her in an Auto-Doc, which he programmed to perform surgery on her vocal cords, altering her voice to sound like Keyes', so she could at some point be used to unlock the vault. It was something of a leap in the dark on his part, as he actually held some doubt towards Royce making the intended recovery from the procedure.
Domino is a quick thinker, and is quite skilled with guns, specifically pistols, having spent some of his free time back in the pre-War days at the shooting range, and uses a knife for a side arm. He is very paranoid, setting up many booby traps and hiding several 'secret stashes' throughout the Villa - perhaps understandably, considering the ghost people who inhabit it.
His ego is very fragile, and the Courier is encouraged to take care not to bruise it when dealing with Domino, lest it carries dire consequences down the line. Expressing irritation, aggression, or contempt will earn his ire. Also, passing the Barter skill checks in his dialogues will turn him murderous later, as he takes the Courier's competence as a personal insult. Skill checks other than Barter checks are okay, as they are the only ones that will have a negative impact.
His voice has been unaltered by ghoulification; it remains clear and accented as opposed to gravelly like other ghouls.
Dean Domino, entertainer, singer... thief... had his last show on the Sierra Madre stage. The heist he spent over two hundred years planning fell apart, just as the first, by underestimating his partner's strength. Not long after the Courier left the Villa, the lights in the theater shut off, one by one. Only Dean's Hologram remained on stage, singing silently to an empty room. Still... as consumed as he had been with its riches and ruin, the Sierra Madre had held him captive long ago.
Dean Domino, entertainer, singer... thief... explored the Sierra Madre not long after he was rescued by the Courier. Once he left the theater, the Sierra Madre recognized him as a guest, and many doors opened to him. He had to admit, it had been built to last. During his search, he came across the final records of Vera and Sinclair, and realized what happened the night the bombs fell. He felt strangely sad for a moment, and he had no idea why. Shrugging it off, his mind turned instead to where the Courier had come from. Vegas still survived, out there in the Mojave. Its sights, sounds... and casinos, ripe for the taking. So giving the Sierra Madre one last nod and a wink, he set off beyond the Cloud to begin again.
Dean's Hit Points regenerate slowly over time. Very few non-player characters have this attribute; the only other known ones are Mean Sonofabitch and God.
When the player character is traveling with Dean, he is able to protect them briefly from concentrated effects of the Cloud. In addition, he will offer them resistance to its health-depleting effects, reducing damage by 25%. This perk is known as Unclean Living.
When present, Dean will comment on the player character every time they loot one of his stashes, often expressing that the stash is there for himself. However, he will not retaliate in any manner.
Dean is the only Dead Money companion that has a firearm as a default weapon, the other two defaulting to unarmed. This makes him a valuable aid when engaging Ghost people at close range, since his ammo never runs out.
Posters of Dean appear in the Mojave Wasteland such as in The King's room and your room at the Lucky 38, and on loading screens in abandoned casinos, advertising a planned appearance by the singer.
Even though he doesn't have ears, his sunglasses stay on as if he did.
When crouching, he makes a similar comment as Raul about how it's "hell on his knees." When he is smoking and crouching, he won't bend his knees all the way.
If the first Barter check is passed upon meeting with Domino, he will have unique dialogue for the rest of the Dead Money storyline.
When both Dean and Christine are not companions, they can initiate dialogue with each other (or at least to the extent that Christine can), and Dean will comment on her muteness by saying "You're not much for conversation, are you?" Likewise, Dean may engage God in conversation at the Villa fountain where God expresses his disdain for the ghoul for not leaving the Sierra Madre when he had the chance.
Dean seems to ignore the fact that he has the collar on (more than the other characters) and, on the rare occasion he does pay attention to it, he refers to it as a "bow tie."
Though Dean says that he has learned how to use a knife, he does not have Melee as a tagged skill.
Dean is an avid smoker. When found, he has a lit cigar in his room, and as a companion will frequently smoke a cigarette.
Dean is the only companion besides Boone who allows you to take his clothes.
If his unique clothes are taken and he is dismissed as a companion, he will automatically equip a Dead Money jumpsuit, even though it was nowhere present in his inventory.
Despite how much he talks of wishing to stay away from Ghost People, his apartment in the Residential District is brightly lit up with Christmas lights pointing directly to it.
Although in the icon for the Assemble Your Crew achievement/trophy Dean is seen to have hair, in-game he does not.
Dean seems to have had a particular issue with fellow pre-War entertainer Danny Parker, commenting negatively about his hair and tipping habits in his dialog.
Dean Domino is an amalgamation of Dean Martin, an Italian-American singer/actor/comedian, and Fats Domino, an American rock and roll pianist and singer-songwriter. Dean Domino mentions that he worked for Imperial Records, which is a real life company that Fats Domino worked for, but unlike Dean Martin, Dean Domino speaks using a southeastern British accent.
The Dean Domino poster also takes heavy inspiration from a Fats Domino concert poster.
When asked about the nature of the ghost people, Dean will attempt to quote (though incorrectly both times) the famous exchange between Hamlet and Horatio: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
The surname "Domino" may be a gesture to Gaston Leroux's gothic novel "The Phantom of the Opera" later made into a musical by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber—a one-sided love story between a disfigured man and an operatic soprano named Christine. The musical's logo features a domino (in this context, a type of mask that covers half the face), worn by the Phantom to conceal his facial deformities. The aviator sunglasses worn by Dean Domino resemble the eye openings of such a mask. The multiple copies of "¡La Fantoma!" magazine hidden throughout the Sierra Madre and vicinity would seem to bolster this assumption.
End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.
PCPlaystation 3 If you kill Dean on a set of stairs, his body might glitch out of the map. [verified]
PCXbox 360 Sometimes, when Dean is knocked unconscious, he may never wake up until you restart a save, or enter a new area. [verified]
PC Right after killing Dean on the stairs, a message might come up and say: "Dean is dead" over and over even after clicking Ok.[verified]
PC If Dean is talked to while he is still marked as "hostile", it will remove the hostile tag. making the quest unable to be completed.[verified]
Playstation 3 There is an object near the doors to the vault you can talk to. While facing the vault, it should be the one on the left. Talking to it gives text like you are speaking to Dean Domino and is even voiced. It isn't known if he has to die for this to happen.
↑Dean Domino: "Hold it together, Dean, you've been in worse jams.Like Madrid.Christ - Madrid." (Dean Domino's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "What was your problem with Sinclair?" Dean Domino: "Problem? All high-and-mighty. Lording it over everyone. Acting so self-righteous, like nothing could touch him. He was the one with the problem.Never got mad at anything. Nothing seemed to shake him. Even after... his life kept getting dragged through the dirt.Always kept looking for the bright, shining future in everything. So... I decided to take everything from him. (Dean Domino's dialogue)
↑Dean Domino: "There's a picture, a bunch of headless saps all waiting for the pearly gates. Whoever did this... messed up." (Dean Domino's dialogue) Note: NVDLC01DeanDialogueClinicBark
↑The Courier: "What weapons are you skilled with?" Dean Domino: "Not one for fighting if we can avoid it. Still, wasn't bad at the pistol range and over the years, I've learned how to handle a knife... ...and explosives a bit. A bit. Made a lot of mistakes along the way. Still have my fingers, though." (Dean Domino's dialogue)