Icon disambig.svg
For the ghoul in Fallout 2, see Festus (Fallout 2).

Howdy partner, welcome to the headquarters of the Sunset Sarsaparilla company. Wrangle up a stool and listen to ol' Festus jaw awhile.

Festus the Animated Rancher is a unique model of robot installed in the lobby of the Sunset Sarsaparilla Company's HQ in the Mojave Wasteland in 2281.

Background[edit | edit source]

Grandiose wasteland legends persist that Festus is a centuries old guardian of the Sunset Sarsaparilla treasure;[1] the legends are technically correct, but the fact that Festus is an animatronic automaton made by RobCo Industries, designed as an interactive display for visitors and tourists takes away some of the mystique.[2] Unlike most other robots in the wasteland, who operate with a degree of autonomous artificial intelligence, Festus is a simple machine that only responds to a set of about a dozen designated command phrases and answers with pre-recorded responses.[3]

Festus is barely operational with centuries of wear and tear. The wooden cabinet holding the robot is falling apart, having been shot several times and water damaged, and Festus himself has also been shot, breaking the front glass window and taking his right arm and right eye. Festus' speaker is also damaged, constantly shifting in quality and volume as the prerecorded lines are played.

Interactions with the player character[edit | edit source]

Interactions overview[edit | edit source]

This character starts quests.
Perk empathy synthesizer.png
This character is involved in quests.

Quests[edit | edit source]

  • The Legend of the Star: Festus will introduce the legend of the Sunset Sarsaparilla Stars and tell the Courier there is a reward for collecting enough of them.
  • A Valuable Lesson: Festus unlocks a door containing the reward for collecting 50 Sunset Sarsaparilla Stars.

Other interactions[edit | edit source]

  • When first meeting Festus it may be best to respond with "Pleased to meetcha". This option will explain all of the dialogue options available.
  • If the Courier asks Festus to tell about the "Silly Ol' Advisory," he will list numerous serious health problems associated with drinking Sunset Sarsaparilla. He will ask the player character to repeat themselves twice before finally telling.
  • After redeeming 50 Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle caps for the quest, Festus will tell the story of "The Legend of the Star." He will make mention of Nuka-Cola, the principal rival soft drink of Sunset Sarsaparilla. After this, he mentions that to avoid legal action from the Nuka-Cola Corporation, he will inform the Courier that Nuka-Cola is a "swell" drink, but sometimes people just want something "different."

"Lucky Horseshoes"[edit | edit source]

If the dialogue option "I Feel Lucky" is chosen, the Courier has the option to play a variant of blackjack called Lucky Horseshoes. Festus can be asked for instructions on which buttons perform which action.

Each win grants a 6% chance of getting a Sunset Sarsaparilla star cap and a 24.44% chance of getting a card for the Caravan deck. Otherwise, the reward is up to 9 bottle caps. The game can be played repeatedly to garner more and more prizes.

  • Number cards count as face value.
  • There are no face cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Jokers).
  • The goal of the game is to get closer to 21 than Festus in order to win the hand.
  • Unlike blackjack, going over 21 is not an instant loss.
  • Players may draw or hold, however once they hold they are done drawing for that hand.
  • If the players are equally close to 21 (for example 17 - 25), the player who got there first has the advantage.
  • If a player draws and their new total equals the other player's total, the other player's total is increased (bumped up) by one. This is known as lucky horseshoes, and ensures that ties are not possible.
  • A mental tally of the Courier's and Festus' totals must be kept, as Festus does not announce the running totals, except that he will declare when either hand has reached 21.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • If the Courier attacks Festus with a melee or unarmed weapon, Festus will stand up, look around, and then return to his idle stance. Any companions following the Courier will then initiate combat briefly before returning to their idle stance(s). Shooting Festus or using explosives will not count as hitting him, as all projectiles will simply go through and hit the wall behind him.
  • Festus is one of the three robots in the game who cannot die. The other two are Yes Man and the Gun Runners Vendortron.
  • There is an option to "pickpocket" Festus when crouched, but this only initiates a dialogue with him.
  • The story Festus tells about the origins of Sunset Sarsaparilla conflicts with the information he gives: He mentions that before Sunset Sarsaparilla was invented, the main choices people had for drinking was water or Nuka-Cola. The Nuka-Cola Corporation was founded in the year 2044, but according to the logo of the Sunset Sarsaparilla headquarters, Sunset Sarsaparilla was founded in 1918, over 125 years before Nuka-Cola was invented.
  • Festus is affected by the Robotics Expert perk.
  • Lucky Horseshoes can still be played with him after having completed The Legend of the Star.
  • After completing Legend of the Star, Festus will begin to tell a completely different version of the star cap origin tale. In this story, all major events are mostly the same as the first time, but some happen in a different order (for example, the bar owner receives the recipe before he hears news of the stranger's death).

Notable quotes[edit | edit source]

  • "Howdy partner, welcome to the headquarters of the Sunset Sasparilla company. Wrangle up a stool and listen to ol' Festus jaw awhile."
  • "Ah, new to the hunt, are you? Well listen carefully, as ol' Festus don't want to repeat himself."
  • "Why are these stars there, and what do they mean? Nobody knows! Except maybe ol' Festus, Hee Hee."
  • "Woohoo, you did it partner! Bully for you! Ol' Festus knew you could do it. I suppose you'll be wanting that prize now."
  • "We at the Sunset Sarsaparilla Company would once again like to thank you for your patronage."
  • "Excessive ingestion of Sarsaparilla can lead to deleterious effects including, but not limited to: kidney damage, nausea, digital numbness, anxiety, loss of visual acuity, dizziness, occasional nosebleeds, joint inflammation, tooth decay, sore throat, bronchitis, organ rupture and halitosis."

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Festus appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • Festus is a reference to the character Festus of the 1952 radio and 1955 television Western drama series Gunsmoke.
50 Vault-Tec C.E.O..pngThe following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
  • Some inspiration for the character may have come from the character of "Doctor Hephaestus" in the 1980 cult classic movie "Battle Beyond the Stars."
50 Vault-Tec C.E.O..pngEnd of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

  • PCIcon pc.png Playstation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Sometimes when entering the Sunset Sarsaparilla headquarters a loud metal crashing noise can be heard (like when a robot crashes to the floor), due to Festus having turned 180 or 45 degrees to face the wall. Interaction is still possible even though the player character will only be able to see the back panel. He may eventually turn back if you re-enter. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png It is possible to knock him unconscious with the Golden Gloves or boxing tape. If done so you cannot speak to him and he will not regain consciousness. If you do kill him you can walk through him. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Icon ps3.png Sometimes, when entering dialogue, the words may skip to the next line. The next lines will also skip until you are ready to talk. [verified]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Courier: "You mentioned someone named Festus. Who's that?"
    Malcolm Holmes: "It's said that the treasure is guarded by a man named Festus, and he's the one who asks for the blue-star caps. It's also said that he's been around since the war, standing a lonely vigil, waiting for someone to come and take the treasure off his hands. That'd make him pretty damn old, but I've met a few people in my travels who claimed they actually met him, and they weren't the lying type either."
  2. Cut content SSHQTechGuyMailMessage1Terminal Cut content
  3. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.308-309: "[2.17] Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters
    The old headquarters of the well-known and loved "Beverage of the West Coast," this structure features a many-faceted glass bottle of the company's signature drink, Sunset Sarsaparilla. Before the war, an urban legend circulated that if you collected bottle caps marked with a star, you could send them in to the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters and receive a prize. Now, this legend has taken on a life of its own; crazed individuals stalk the Wasteland searching for "SSSs" (Sunset Sarsaparilla Stars), a fact exacerbated by an automated robotic attendant, Festus, who prompts people with an option to present their Sunset Sarsaparilla Stars. Dare you find out the truth?
    Sitting in his rundown saloon, Festus is the mascot for the old Sunset Sarsaparilla Company, and here to bring you great news of a competition, and the official word on that health advisory (keeps asking!). Requesting information on Star Bottle Caps begins Side Quest: The Legend of the Star. Returning with 50 or more Star Bottle Caps starts Side Quest: A Valuable Lesson. You can also play Lucky Horseshoes (speak to Festus about the rules)."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
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