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This page contains a summary of Fallout: New Vegas's plot. Due to the freeform nature of Fallout: New Vegas's plot, this summary is written from the perspective of the player completing a single faction questline in its entirety, without any branching to another faction's questline, without murdering everyone in cold blood, and completing every quest as optimally as possible.
- 1 Act I - The Man in the Checkered Suit
- 2 Act II - Prelude to the Second Battle of Hoover Dam
- 2.1 New California Republic
- 2.2 Caesar's Legion
- 2.3 Mr. House
- 2.4 Independent
- 3 Act 3 - Second Battle of Hoover Dam
Act I - The Man in the Checkered Suit
Ain't That a Kick in the Head
A Courier for the Mojave Express delivery company tasked with delivering a suspicious package, a platinum chip, to the entrance to the Vegas Strip. However, before delivery of this package could be completed, the Courier is ambushed by a man in a checkered suit and a couple of Great Khans a way's off by Goodsprings. They take the platinum chip off the Courier, with the man in the checkered suit shooting the Courier twice in the head, and one of the Great Khans burying the Courier in a shallow grave. As they leave with their prize, a Securitron named Victor digs the Courier out of the shallow grave and brings them to Doc Mitchell, Goodsprings local doctor for medical attention.
A week later, the Courier makes a miraculous recovery and regains consciousness in Doc Mitchell's house, but before sending him off, Mitchell gives the Courier some tests to determine their physical and mental condition. He also gives the player the items that they had on them when shot and buried, as well as some other supplies and a Pip-Boy 3000.
Once out of Doc Mitchell's house, the player heads to their only clue, the original recipient of the platinum chip and owner of the local Mojave Express building, Johnson Nash in Primm for anything about the men who attacked them. Once at Primm, though, Primm is under siege by Powder Gangers with the local New California Republic soldiers not able to do anything because Primm isn't in their jurisdiction. Johnson Nash, who is held up in the Vikki and Vance casino along with the rest of the town, don't know anything about the men who attacked the player but knows someone who does. Unfortunately, the man who might know something, Deputy Beagle, is being held hostage by the Powder Gangers in Bison Steve Hotel across the street. After acquiring the information from Beagle, it turns out he was spying on the men who attacked the player and just happened to take note of the exact route they're going.
According to Beagle, the men that attacked the Courier went south through Nipton and north-east into Novac to meet someone specific, but doesn't know who. The Courier starts heading to Nipton and once there, they have their first encounter with Caesar's Legion, who had just murdered near all the inhabitants in the town during a lottery except for two, a lucky winner and lucky loser, and had just begun to raze the town. The leader of the band that had razed the town, Vulpes Inculta, spares them so they can spread the word about Nipton, but the Courier still learns nothing about the men who attacked them, so they move on to Novac.
Arriving at Novac, no one seems to know about the men who tried to kill the player except for one, Manny Vargas the daytime sniper and the person the men came here to meet but isn't so inclined to share where these men went without a favor. Once the player has acquired the information from Manny any way they could, they learn that the checker-suit man and his Great Khans went towards Boulder City.
Heading east from Novac, the Courier arrives at Boulder City and finds that the Great Khans are being held up by a detachment of NCR troops in the ruins of Boulder City. After convincing the acting NCR commander to let the Courier deal with the Khans, finding that the two Great Khans that are being held up are the same ones that were with the checker-suit man. However, only one, Jessup, is alive at this point and the other, McMurphy, had died beforehand. Once they've chosen the way to deal with the Khans, they learn that the man in the checkered-suit is Benny, leader of the Chairmen on the Strip, had left the Khans for dead and made his way back to New Vegas. From this point, the player can help the Khans or leave them to their deaths by the hands of the NCR. Or simply kill them entirely, it's all on the table.
After the player has made their way into the New Vegas Strip, they will be contacted by Mr. House for a meeting in the Lucky 38 about the platinum chip Benny has stolen. Once the meeting is over, the Courier heads to The Tops and the player can then choose how they want to deal with/confront Benny and get the platinum chip, which will affect the plot later in the storyline. After leaving the Tops, the player will be approached by representatives of Caesar's Legion and the NCR and given tasks to strengthen their reputation with those factions. The player may also find Yes Man hidden away in a service tunnel in Benny's suite which opens up the independent path to the player.
Act II - Prelude to the Second Battle of Hoover Dam
New California Republic
After exiting the Lucky 38, the player is approached by an NCR Trooper, inviting them to go meet with Ambassador Dennis Crocker, who requests for the Courier to gain the Boomers support for the NCR. They've been unable to contact them as the Boomers fire artillery at anyone who enters within a mile of the airbase. So now the Courier has the task of going to the airbase and somehow avoiding the artillery. Once the Courier reaches the gates, the Boomers will take the Courier to a meeting with their leader Pearl, the oldest of the Boomers. Pearl is surprisingly receptive of the Courier despite the Boomers treatment of outsiders. She asks the Courier to aid the Boomers in various tasks to gain their trust and then tasks the Courier with help in resurrecting a crashed B-29 at the bottom of Lake Mead in Volare! Once the B-29 has been retrieved from the bottom of Lake Mead, the Courier can finally ask Pearl to aid the NCR in the upcoming battle at Hoover Dam.
After reporting back to Ambassador Dennis Crocker, he'll task the Courier with solving the issue of brewing tensions between Freeside locals and NCR Citizens living in New Vegas. Locals are not keen on the NCR pushing its way in and are merely tolerating their presence, but Crocker feels that tolerance is teetering on the edge of violence. But he has a solution. NCR intelligence has determined that Pacer is the main cause of all violent acts against NCR citizens and that if he's removed from the picture, the violence will stop. Alternatively, the Courier can hash out a truce with The King by employing the help of either Colonel Cassandra Moore or Colonel James Hsu. Once the situation has been solved by any means that the player saw fit, when reporting back to Dennis Crocker he will send the player to Hoover Dam where Colonel Moore will give the player their next assignment.
Impressed by the Courier's ability to deal with the Freeside problem, Colonel Cassandra Moore recruits the Courier (as a private contractor) for assistance in other NCR problems around the Mojave. The NCR has more enemies than just Caesar's Legion, and Moore wants them out of the equation for the coming battle in any way possible. The first problem group is the Great Khans at Red Rock Canyon; Colonel Moore doesn't care how they're handled but will suggest assassination if diplomacy fails. Next up is one of the Three Families of the Strip: Omertas. Reports of clandestine meetings are troublingly suspicious for such a powerful family, so Moore wants more info and for the Courier to put an end to whatever it might be. Reporting back on their doings, Moore now wants the head of New Vegas itself, Mr. House. The Courier can either kill Mr. House or disconnect him from his Securitrons. Either way, Moore will just send another party to make sure he's dead. Next on the list of loose ends is the Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel. NCR scouts have been reported missing in areas west of HELIOS One, and Moore suspects it's the Brotherhood, which has Colonel Moore on edge as she personally fought a war with the Brotherhood of Steel and wants them completely destroyed by any means necessary. However, the player can still broker a peace treaty between the NCR and Brotherhood, much to the chagrin of Moore when reporting back.
Brokering peace or wiping out these factions will affect the ensuing battle at Hoover Dam, either bolstering the forces or allowing the Legion to attack unchallenged at certain points.
Aaron Kimball, current President of the New California Republic, is holding a medal ceremony and morale improving speech for the troops and Hoover Dam. Kimball and the NCR are fully aware of the dangers to hold such a ceremony, but the morale boost this ceremony will be crucial to the upcoming battle. Ranger Grant is responsible for security at the event and asks the Courier for help during the ceremony. He absolutely suspects that Caesar's Legion will attempt to assassinate Kimball, but has zero leads other than a last-minute addition to the engineering staff. After conducting a security sweep, Bear Force One arrives on the scene and the ceremony starts. There are three assassination avenues that in-danger President Kimball, but stopping any of them and reporting back to Ranger Grant will end the ceremony prematurely and the president will evacuate the area. Reporting back to Colonel Moore, she gives the Courier the last assignment, report to General Lee Oliver for preparing to take the fight to Caesar's Legion.
Once the Courier has dealt with Benny and exited The Tops, they're accosted by Vulpes Inculta in disguise. He delivers to the Courier the Mark of Caesar, which absolves them of all previous crimes against Caeser's Legion as well as grant them passage to The Fort through Cottonwood Cove. Vulpes tells the Courier that Caesar is awaiting their arrival and expects them soon. Once arriving and meeting with Caesar, he remarks to the Courier how much of an agent of change they've been in such a short amount of time. Caesar is thoroughly impressed and wants such a capable individual on his side. But Caesar cuts to the chase fast, he knows about the platinum chip and has noticed that both the Securitron Vault located at the Fort and the platinum chip bear the logo of the Lucky 38. Caesar is a smart man, but it wouldn't take a smart man to put those two together. Caesar ultimately delivers an ultimatum to the Courier: Destroy the contents of the Securitron vault or face the wrath of Caesar.
After destroying the vault below and returning to Caesar he, in true Roman epic fashion, wants so much more than a single vault destroyed. The next task the Courier must complete for Caesar is to sever the head of New Vegas itself Mr. House. House is a dangerous free agent to Caesar, he suspects that if the Legion attains the upper hand in the upcoming Battle of Hoover Dam that Mr. House will roll in his Securitrons to support the NCR. Caesar doesn't want that happening so House needs out of the picture. So who better to ask then the only person who's been allowed into the Lucky 38? Once Mr. House has been dealt with, return to Caesar for the next task.
House out of the game is a good stride toward a Legion victory at Hoover Dam, but there are still many complications around the Mojave that could be a problem. The Boomers is one of those complications. Caesar doesn't want them dead, but he does want their firepower directed at the NCR if the Courier can manage it. If the Boomers aren't as amenable; however, then Caesar wants them dead (or at least their leaders). Reaching them is the biggest obstacle, but once the Courier reaches the gates of Nellis AFB, Pearl will allow the Courier to help around the air force base and gaining the Boomers trust which then leads to restoring the B-29 in Volare! Once the B-29 has been retrieved from the bottom of Lake Mead, the Courier can finally ask Pearl to aid the Caesar's Legion in the upcoming battle at Hoover Dam.
However the Boomers have been handled, the next group Caesar is interested in is the White Glove Society. Caesar's heard reports of a cannibal tribe that lived in caverns under the Mojave from his scouts he'd sent west before. He suspects that the White Gloves are this group, but reformed. However, Caeser has no use for former manhunting cannibals, he needs them regressed into their old ways. Caesar offers two avenues, either convincing their leader Marjorie or the second-in-command Mortimer. Going the route of convincing them requires the completion of Beyond the Beef; however, unless it's completed in favor of the cannibals of the White Gloves, the White Gloves are uninterested in an alliance with Caesar's Legion and Caesar can be told this without any other intervention into the group.
Next up is the Brotherhood of Steel. While Caeser's Legion is technology adverse, that doesn't mean the Brotherhood wouldn't stand in the way of taking the Mojave and the rest of the west. Caesar has dealt with the Brotherhood in the past and a fight between the Legion and Brotherhood would likely end in a Legion victory, but it would be a pyrrhic victory leaving the Legion crippled. Caesar's scouts have reported sightings in Hidden Valley and Caesar wants confirmation on their demise at the player's hands. This can be accomplished in several ways, by initiating the self destruct of the bunker, letting the Brotherhood turrets kill the bunker, or doing it all alone. However, there is also the option to let the Brotherhood be and have them attack HELIOS One while the Battle for Hoover Dam rages. This requires a to convince Caeser himself of the advantages of letting the Brotherhood continue, otherwise, the only option is to destroy the Brotherhood of Steel.
Finishing up with the Brotherhood and getting back to Caeser, he wants to have a talk in private. It's impossible to hide, it's obvious that something is terribly wrong with Caesar. He's been having excruciating headaches, absence seizures, and limping in front of the Courier. The Courier can inquire about these lapses before, but Caeser pushes it off until later. But the time to confront it is now. Caesar makes it clear, he doesn't know what's wrong and asks for the player's opinion. Doctor Courier can diagnose the symptoms and conclude that Caesar has a tumor growing inside his head. Caesar is unsurprised, but makes the Courier his personal physician and tasks the player with removing it. If the Courier is barely qualified to hold a scalpel, there are other options available like getting an actual Doctor or repairing Caeser's personal Auto-Doc.
With Caesar's brain tumorless and in order as it can be, he wastes no time in tasking the Courier with assassinating NCR President Aaron Kimball. The morale of the NCR troops are near unrecoverable at this point in the war, having been told the Mojave Campaign would be an easy excursion that would last a few months has been ongoing for seven years now. Kimball has organized a ceremony at Hoover Dam to bring a semblance of morale back to his troops, and that is where Caesar wants to strike. Killing Kimball will send a message to all of the NCR that none are out of reach of Caesar and hopefully make the NCR recoil away from the Mojave and Kimball's entire campaign. Once agreeing to the demand of Caesar, he sends the player to Frumentarii Cato Hostilius who is stationed close to Hoover Dam.
Reaching Hostilius, he'll provide intel on the schedule of ceremony and the scant details he has on the security and provides a disguise to the player if they don't already have one. After resting for the night, it's time to assassinate President Kimball. The means of which is completely Exitus Acta Probat, so however the player wants will all work here. Hostilius will provide a Vertibird bomb to plant on Bear Force One if the player wants to be more discreet. There are several more options available to the player during the ceremony, all of which allow the player to kill Kimball without turning all of Hoover Dam hostile.
Once arriving on the New Vegas Strip, Victor, the same Securitron that pulled the Courier out of their grave in Goodsprings, will greet the Courier and tell them about Mr. House's desire to meet the Courier at the Lucky 38 and suggests they get to him pronto. Meeting the elusive Robert House, he gets straight to brass tacks and tasks the Courier to retrieve the platinum chip from Benny. Mr. House would send a Securitron into the Tops to arrest Benny, but thanks to the contract with the families, no Securitron is allowed to enter a family casino unless invited in or under extraordinary circumstances. And a frontal assault would just be a loudspeaker announcement that House and found out of Benny's theft of the chip, so Mr. House is relying on the Courier to catch Benny by surprise. Mr. House leaves dealing with Benny to the Courier's sole discretion, but he needs the platinum chip.
Once the platinum chip is in the Courier's possession once again, the delivery job originally given to the Courier can be completed by hand-delivering the chip to Mr. House. Mr. House will then usher the Courier to the basement where he'll demonstrate the weapons of the Securitrons. While impressive machines, they have average combat capabilities at best, but after installing the software and drivers for the Mark II OS stored on the platinum chip the Securitrons now have access to advanced weaponry of missiles, grenade machineguns, and an onboard, self-repair diagnostic system. House's Securitrons are now a more than capable fighting force equipped to take on any faction in the Mojave Wasteland now. But a force can only do so much, now Mr. House needs an army.
While the Securitrons are now more formidable than ever before, Mr. House needs an army of Securitrons to properly exert the power of New Vegas with. Luckily Mr. House created such an army before the Great War and stored it in a vault at Fortification Hill. And even more so luckily, the Courier got a hand-delivered invitation to The Fort from Vulpes Inculta after leaving the Tops. So using that, the Courier can travel The Fort and after maneuvering around Caesar without getting executed, they can activate the dormant Securitrons and give House the army he needs.
Returning back to Mr. House, the next step is stacking the deck even more towards House's purposes. The first card in the shuffle to be slotted into House's hand is the Boomers, an isolationist group of Vault Dwellers that have taken control of Nellis AFB and keep guard of it with howitzers. Naturally, Mr. House sees the potential for the use of those Howitzers in the upcoming second Battle of Hoover Dam, but it's in his best interest that those howitzers aren't pointed at anyone other than the Legion. House doesn't care how it's done, but he wants the Courier to either convince the Boomers to work for him or that the Boomers are taken out of the equation entirely.
The next task is closer to House's home. The Omertas dealings are beginning to concern Mr. House and he wants to know what's happening across the street at the Gomorrah. The receptionist he used to pay for info has been tight-lipped, which is even more concerning. Whatever it might be, House wants the Courier to uncover what the Omertas are doing. Once the Courier has found out the plot, they can report back to House to end it then and there. Or they can complete the quest or even just assassinate all the Omerta's leaders. It's all up to the Courier.
Once the Omertas have been dealt with, House sets his sights on the Brotherhood of Steel. After retreating from their defeat during Operation: Sunburst at the hands of the NCR, the remaining Mojave Brotherhood members held up in bunkers. Mr. House has surmised that the Brotherhood is located somewhere in Hidden Valley after he lost several Securitrons in that area. The Brotherhood represents a different kind of threat to Mr. House, a threat that would not sit idly by as he reigns over Vegas with a staggering amount of technology that they have deemed unfit for anyone to be in possession of. House wants the Brotherhood wiped out from the face of the Mojave. There is no negotiation in this fact; the Courier can only do as House tells them. Once they've been dealt with, The Courier reports back to Mr. House for the next assignment
For a change of pace, the Courier will be protecting the Aaron Kimball, the President of the NCR. Aaron Kimball has decided to have morale-boosting ceremony speech for the troops at Hoover Dam, despite the obvious dangers of being so close to the frontline. Mr. House needs Kimball alive by the end of the NCR's Mojave expansion so a proper scapegoat is around for when the NCR populace rejects expanding into the Mojave, so Kimball must live through his speech. The Courier is tasked with protecting Kimball from any Legion assassins that will appear at the ceremony. The rest of the quest consists of You'll Know It When It Happens.
After saving the President Kimball and returning to Mr. House, House wastes no time in giving the next task: head to El Dorado substation and install an override chip. The substation seems like a humble power station but has immense strategic value for Mr. House. The only problem is the substation is guarded by NCR troopers. With the override chip installed, the Lucky 38's dormant reactor can be brought back to life, now able to stage larger excursions, such heading to Hoover Dam. Reporting back to Mr. House, he gives one last moment to prepare before starting All or Nothing.
Speaking to Yes Man, Benny's Securitron, opens up prompts for the player to go about the world, not having to take orders from House, the Legion, or the NCR, ruling the Mojave themselves with the help of Yes Man.
Act 3 - Second Battle of Hoover Dam
New California Republic
Thanks to the Courier's efforts in supporting the NCR Army, they are now uniquely positioned to take the fight to Caesar's Legion. However, that optimism is quickly dashed when the Legion begins its attack on the Dam by entering through the intake tunnels. Mike Lawson suggests diverting flow to flush the Legion out of the tunnels and cripple their assault. Either way, the Courier will need to fight their way through Hoover Dam and get to the other side to the Legate's Camp.
Along the way, the factions that have been allied with the NCR will come and assist during the battle. The Boomers will do a tactical bomb run on the legion side of the dam with their restored B-29, Great Khans and Brotherhood can arrive and provide additional fire support alongside NCR troopers, and Enclave remnants can arrive by Vertibird and fight in a push to the Legate's Camp. Once fighting through the Legate's forces, the Courier will come face to face with the Monster of the East himself, Legate Lanius.
Once the Legate has been killed or persuaded to retreat, General Lee Oliver will blow open the gates and storm the Legate's camp with additional support. He'll be impressed with the "work" the Courier has done and didn't expect such results. Lee will extend his thanks and the thanks of the NCR's administration and posits that the NCR will finally be able to find it's footing with the Legion gone from the Mojave. Once the conversation is over, Fallout: New Vegas ends.
With Kimball dead and reporting back to Caesar, Caesar tells the Courier they're poised to finally strike at the NCR's hold on Hoover Dam. He orders the Courier to report to Legate Lanius at his camp. The meeting with Lanius is brief but to the point, Caesar's Legion scouts have found that Hoover Dam contains many tunnels (intake tunnels) that would allow Legionaries to bypass much of the security and complete side step the war of attrition General Lee Oliver had prepared for. Going through the intake tunnels brings the Legion straight to the heart of the NCR and allow for a swift and decisive Legion victory. Lanius also tasks the Courier with finding General Lee Oliver and killing him or demoralizing him to put the NCR's forces in disarray.
The battle starts when the Legion attacks from their side of Hoover Dam. The Courier can assist the Legion by taking out snipers that have encamped on many of the Dam's towers and allow Legionaries to enter by opening the intake tunnels. Along the way, the factions the Courier made alliances with will come and assist in the battle. Great Khans and Brotherhood of Steel will arrive on the NCR side when the Courier reaches the visitor center, and the Boomers will bombard the NCR with ordinance and artillery with their restored B-29 and howitzers. Once reaching the visitor center, the Courier needs to reach General Lee Oliver. Once finding him, he'll converse with the Courier where he can be persuaded to flee Hoover Dam but if unable to do so must fight him through a gauntlet of traps, narrow tunnels guarded by snipers, and several forcefields meant to withstand a Legion assault.
Once the General is dealt with Legate Lanius will approach the Courier after they exit to Hoover Dam power plant 04 and "congratulate" them for their assistance. He'll inform the Courier that only a few NCR holdouts remain in Hoover Dam but will be meeting their end shortly. He confirms that with no leader to guide them, the rest of the Mojave is an easy conquest and the Legion can grow westward largely unabated for a time. And also explains that the slaves and other prisoners of war from Hoover Dam will make a great tribute to the continuation of the war when he finally conquers California. Once the conversation is over, Fallout: New Vegas ends.
The Courier, once arriving back to Lucky 38, Mr. House informs them that Vegas and Lucky 38 are at full power and completely independent from Hoover Dam's power supply for now. Mr. House tested sending VMQ-boosted command signals through c3i broadcasting arrays to his Securitrons and all checks were green. Just in-time too because the Legion just started marching and setting up a staging area near Hoover Dam. However, the Courier's main goal is not to fight the Legion but to take advantage of the chaos to install an override module to Hoover Dam's central computer system. The purpose of this is to gain control of Hoover Dam's energy output and send a jolt of energy to "wake up" the still dormant Securitrons at the Securitron vault. Once the Courier is ready, they're sent straight to Hoover Dam.
The Courier arrives escorted by a Securitron Mk II. Along the way to the central computer system, the Courier will encounter NCR heavy troopers guarding the computer system. Once inside and the override module installed, Mr. House will take over the system and inform the Courier of their next task to fight off Caesar's Legion with the now awakened Securitron Army. House also asks the Courier to take the print out of Order of Withdrawal to hand to General Lee Oliver when the Legion has been defeated.
After activating the power of the eastern power plant, the Courier must make it topside to push the Legion back to the Legate's camp. Along the way, the factions that have been allied with will come and assist during the battle. The Boomers will do a tactical bomb run on the legion side of the dam with their restored B-29, Great Khans arrive and provide additional fire support battling NCR Rangers, and Enclave remnants can arrive by Vertibird and fight in a push to the Legate's Camp. More Securitrons arrive and help with the final push into the Legate's camp where Lanius is finally met.
After the Courier confronts Legate Lanius with either words or fighting, General Lee Oliver will blow down the gates to the Legate's camp and talk to the Courier, largely impressed by the destruction of the Legion's forces. The Courier hands General Oliver the Order of Withdrawal, whether Oliver accepts the terms peacefully is up to the Courier. Mr. House then rolls up broadcasting from a Securitron body and informs the Courier the probability of the actions from the NCR depending on Lee Oliver and Aaron Kimball's fates, and how the NCR's populace would be in total non-support for another Mojave War. Mr. House will further posit a bright future for New Vegas after tourism from the NCR swings back up. Once the conversation is over, Fallout: New Vegas ends.
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