Freeside is the main slum adjacent to, but not controlled by, Mr. House's New Vegas in 2281. It is protected and/or loosely ruled by the Kings and the Van Graffs. The streets are dangerous and lack the luster of the New Vegas Strip. There is a conflict between the locals and squatters that followed the NCR to the area.
Las Vegas wasn't heavily damaged during the Great War, but people didn't immediately settle into the remnants of the old city. The various vault tribes and indigenous people that emerged years later hunted and fought amongst themselves within the ruins. It was not until the "return" of Mr. House and his securitron enforcers that they ceased most of their open hostilities.
Mr. House's robots directed the tribes to use the sizable quantities of pre-War construction materials to build the crude (but effective) outer walls that separate The Strip and Freeside from the rest of New Vegas.
While House valued the area around Fremont Street, he ultimately viewed it as secondary in importance to the Strip itself and had a second, inner wall built that separated the two areas. When the NCR prospectors (and eventually the army) arrived in the region, people typically went straight for The Strip, leaving "Freeside" (as it had become known by locals) as an informal stopping point. Eventually, Mr. House recognized that he could use Freeside as a filter for undesirables and pulled his favored tribes and all Securitrons into the Strip, leaving Freeside to fend for itself.
In the two years that followed, Freeside slowly degenerated into a hostile, lawless den of ne'er-do-wells. For a while, it was completely without order, but two power groups managed to come to an understanding about how the area needed to be maintained. The Kings prevent all-out-chaos from erupting, but do little to deal with the day-to-day nastiness that Freesiders inflict on each other. The Followers of the Apocalypse, no longer associated with the NCR, settled in the Old Mormon Fort. They receive some protection from the Kings in exchange for help with the community's basic needs (food, water, health services and some education). Despite the oversight from the Kings, and help from the Followers, the people in Freeside live in daily peril from each other as well as outside forces.
Freeside is centered on the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd. and Fremont Street and is divided into two sections via a gate. The first section is C shaped and comprised of the western, northern, and eastern parts of the district. This section is the first that can be entered from the Mojave as it has both of Freeside's external gates. Several rough bodyguards stand near the gates, offering their "protection" on the mean streets for a paltry sum of caps.
Points of interest in this section include:
- The Old Mormon Fort, the base of operations for the Followers of the Apocalypse, is just inside Freeside's north gate.
- Mick & Ralph's, which is just inside Freeside's east gate. Ralph sells a fake passport to the strip if The King gives permission, or with a Speech skill of 50. The price is 500 caps, but a Barter skill check can be passed for a lesser price of 375 caps. Outside the store, a pair of children can sometimes be seen running around the streets, a boy and girl. The boy is named Max and if he is spoken to, the Courier can pay 1000 caps (or 20 caps with 45 Barter) for his "toy gun" the Euclid's C-Finder which is a unique energy weapon that is powered by the ARCHIMEDES II satellite.
- Cerulean Robotics, which can be found in the western part of this section.
- A ruined store which holds an NCR food distribution center, also found in the western part of this section.
- Freeside inhabitants have created a makeshift structure with the town name on the top of the ruined freeway.
The second section covers the central and southern parts of the district. This section is reached from the north by passing through a wrecked-vehicle roadblock that divides the two parts of Freeside, or from the north-west through a zone door at the back of a ruin building between the Silver Rush and the Atomic Wrangler casino, or from the south via The Strip North Gate.
Points of interest in this section include:
- King's School of Impersonation, home of the Kings, a gang holding a large amount of influence in Freeside.
- The Atomic Wrangler casino, run by the Garret twins.
- The Silver Rush, the base of operations for the Van Graff family.
Campfires can be found up by the north gate to the New Vegas Strip. When facing the gate, the fenced off area guarded by securitrons is flanked by empty lots. In each of these lots is at least one campfire.
- Arcade Gannon
- Atomic Wrangler crier
- Beatrix Russell
- Bill Ronte
- Caleb McCaffery
- Elizabeth Kieran
- Francine Garret
- Freeside thug
- Gloria Van Graff
- Henry Jamison
- Jacob Hoff
- James Garret
- Jean-Baptiste Cutting
- Julie Farkas
- The King
- Kings gang member
- Lady Jane
- Mick & Ralph's crier
- Mr. Soren
- Old Ben
- Silver Rush crier
- Three drunks
- Van Graff thug
- The background music is Metallic Monks, which has been originally used for Lost Hills.
- The drunks in Freeside have a unique animation where they lean against the wall and vomit. An NCR trooper will use this animation when first entering the New Vegas Strip.
- With an Accepted reputation, an unnamed King will appear and give the Courier either a few bottle caps or a random aid item.
- With an Unpredictable reputation, a local will approach the Courier and say that Mick & Ralph would like to offer a discount, so long as they "keep making waves".
- If the Courier kills the giant rat that the group of kids are chasing, they will eat it, using the cannibal animation. This happens even if the rat has been disintegrated with an energy weapon.
- With a good reputation/Karma with the Kings, they will aid the Courier when under attack by local thugs.
- In the ruins of the destroyed building across Mick & Ralph's is a uniquely named corpse "man" wearing a destroyed collar.
- The eastern-most gate in the first section of Freeside will have one or several thugs spawn at the end of the street every four days.
Freeside appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Freeside is based on the real world location Fremont Street and surrounding area, part of Las Vegas, Nevada, north of the Las Vegas Strip.
- There are glimpses of different iterations of Freeside visible in the game's scripts. Initially, Freeside was a single large worldspace. This bigger map would feature a lot more NPCs, and in particular a script where travelers would constantly enter at the North gate to head to the strip, explaining how all the people in the Strip got there (this code and its trigger is actually still in the final game and can be triggered, however a debug line deliberately makes the conditions for travelers to spawn impossible, and the trigger code is commented out. It also assumes Freeside is still one worldspace). However, this setup was too demanding for consoles and caused memory/performance problems. It seems the next iteration solved this by using triggers to activate/disable NPCs as the player character approached/left an area. These scripts also give us an idea of what and where NPCs were originally placed, although this may have only been implemented once the area was split. In the initial iteration the Mormon Fort was also on the same map - this can be seen on the Freeside world map where the remaining LOD doors are shown completely open. Eventually things must have reached a head and the original plan was abandoned, with the map now split into two halves and the Mormon Fort closed and made into a seperate worldspace. If they didn't exist before, the enable/disable NPC triggers existed in this iteration. However, it's clear this still didn't solve the performance problems (or perhaps it simply caused too many bugs by itself - fleeing NPCs would disappear if the player character chased them past one of their triggers). In the end, the majority of NPCs were simply removed, and things that relied on the area being one persistent worldspace were removed or dummied out as well. This includes the travelers and a further scene with Orris' favorite customer getting a new bodyguard once G.I. Blues is completed.
- A huge amount of effort and expense was put into recording dialogue lines for locals, squatters and other special NPCs in the area. This was largely wasted effort as in the final game all squatters are removed save a handful in the NCR ruined store and even then their dialogue conditions are broken, making them only able to say one single line of their lengthy dialogues. Most locals cannot say ANY of the dialogue as conditions don't allow it, and some potential local NPCs have the wrong voice type to say their lines anyway. In the final game, there are only two local NPCs on the map. There were also lines recorded for ghoul locals (both male and female), however ghouls are not included in the pool of NPCs that can be locals. There are also lines for generic child locals other than the rat chasers. There are in fact two different sets of dialogues for locals, covering different topics. However, they clash somewhat, as in one set many of the locals sound sluggish and drunken, whereas the same characters in the other set sound sharp and alert. There are also several drunk characters near the east gate. These are all disabled in the final Freeside, and indeed none appear at all in the entire game. They have unique dialogue and make use of the many special idle markers for them nearby. Many of the NPCs in the drunk pool do not have the right voice type however, and so cannot say any lines. Finally, there are several unique (disabled) bodyguards near the East gate, and a final one by the north gate who is deliberately disabled.
- There is a buried minefield at the very edge of the map near the guard tower where the NCR/Pacer face-off takes place. It seems the mines here were just dumped against the fence when it was decided they were no longer going to be used. They are both disabled but also hidden under the ground so cannot be triggered. These mines are actually present on all the Freeside maps were they were copy and pasted over once the map was split but it seems they went unnoticed when things were then cleaned up. There is only one of these buried mines in use properly in the entire game, a single one located near Cook Cook in Fiend territory.
- There are also two more unused dialogue factions for Freeside locals: vFreesideLocalAngryDialogueFaction and vFreesideLocalDepressedDialogueFaction. These would presumably work the same as the similar factions/NPCs at the 188, and add extra lines for NPCs of the above dispositions. These dialogue factions are actually assigned to NPCs ingame, but have no corresponding dialogue to go with them so do nothing.
- There are two more unused NPC types: pickpockets and beggars. There were to be two pickpockets on the map, charmingly nicknamed "Rodger the Codger" and "Bitter Bob" as visible in VFreeFormFreesidescript. A very basic script for pickpockets exists, and full dialogue exists in VfreeformFreeside2, but has no recorded voice lines. No actual NPCs exist, but a faction exists. Beggars are in the game code and consist of three old men. They have no dialogue and are not placed on the map. They seem to have two conflicting behaviors; there is an idle marker called VFSBeggarMarker that would make them stand up and beseech people for caps, but there's also a sitting down AI package which is the default package they all have.
- Strip gate rushers would randomly spawn instead of travelers. These were to be drawn from a random pool including ghouls. In the final game, the traits of these characters are not inherited, so the one single rusher left in the game (the one that appears when Old Ben is first talked to) has a unique looking placeholder face/body.
- Originally, there were three children chasing the rat. The retail release reduced this to two, and a subsequent patch left just one child.
- There were supposed to be lots more Kings around. There are unused patrol routes for the Kings all over the area, and lots of unused King NPCs. In particular, at some stage there would be large groups of patrolling kings, the NPCs VFSKingsPatrol01Follower (etc) are set to follow the NPC VFSKingsPatrolLeader, but in the final game the leader is the only NPC used.
- There are lots of Kings set up with the name "exterior," (e.g.VFSExteriorKing01). These are next to the NPC VFSExteriorGateKing which is used for the Kings outside the gate. Were these NPCs going to be Kings found outside Freeside? The old enable/disable scripts also show there were originally several Kings members guarding the water pump, not just one.
- There are three disabled NPCs in Freeside and the surrounding area linked to a cut quest/follower. These are Betsy the Brahmin, Tom Dooley and Kevin Hargrove. They are all part of an unnamed quest that would eventually net the player character Betsy as a permanent follower. There is no dialogue for any of these characters (save a few lines for the player character to say to Betsy), but script notes paint a reasonably clear picture of what would go on (if not the character's motivations). BetsyTheBrahminScript is pretty much the sole source of what would happen in this quest, but it's clear a) Betsy was located in a pen outside of Freeside's North gate (the wire "gate" on one side is named as such) b) the player character could buy Betsy from Kevin Hargrove (who therefore must be nearby, almost certainly sitting at the nearby floor idle marker), and the player character could also barter for a better price. Once this happened the player character would own Betsy and she would presumably act like a normal companion. However, once the player character slept anywhere, a check would run, and if the player character had put more than 50 items in Betsy's inventory, she would run away back to Kevin. At this stage the items would be put in the shop inventory of another character called Tom Dooley (this name is clearly a reference to the folk song of the same name about a soldier who killed his lover) who would hang out near the North gate bodyguards in Freeside (he would possibly be hawking his wares to the passing (cut) tourists). Once this happened, Betsy's name would also be set to a generic "brahmin" name, which suggests this was all kept secret from the player character. It's unknown what would happen next (save the player character getting their stuff back), but there are variables for Betsy to be "Hired for real, won't run away," so she presumably would have been a true follower character like Rex etc.
- Rotface's tip about a guy selling stuff of dubious origins is likely a hint about the above quest. In the official strategy guide, it's claimed it's related to Mister Holdout, but this doesn't make any sense. There's nothing significant about him selling weapons nor does the game ever bring into question where he gets them from; he's quite open about what he has for sale. Tom Dooley, however, is selling some "second hand adventuring gear" in their shop; it's the player character's. Rotface also claims the character in question can be found on "the main drag," and while this could be a reference to the strip, Dooley can also be found on the main road in Freeside leading up to the Strip. Finally there's the fact none of Rotface's tips directly relate to anything in the Strip itself (has he ever even been there?). Why would this one be any different?
- The rat chasing children originally had much more complex behavior. VMS49GunplaySCRIPT shows how they would sneak up on a rat as well as get tired chasing them. There is an unused ai package that would also make the children display the same "tired" behavior as the script originally contained, but this is unused, it seems the idea was just abandoned. Looking at the original script it seems the intention was to have more than one rat as well.
- Dixon the drug dealer originally had two extra bodyguards with him. They are present but disabled in the final game. Despite being armed with varmint rifles, they carry .22LR ammo. This is almost certainly due to that weapon originally using this ammo, and later being rechambered to 5.56mm for balance reasons. Dixon also has two unused AI packages that would make him travel to both Jacob Hoff and Bill Ronte during the quest to get them off drugs. These were presumably removed once Freeside became two worldspaces.
- The lights here only turn on from 8pm till 11:30pm. This is clearly to emphasise that Freeside is poor and cannot afford to have the lights on all the time. One can of course route power here during That Lucky Old Sun, and it's likely this was supposed to make the lights stay on all night. This doesn't happen in the game, and there is no code in order to do so.
- There are a LOT of unused heading markers in the little detour area Orris takes the player character around. They are marked with names such as VFSRandom6aSP4. Presumably the "SP" part stands for Spawn Point, and these would be spawns for some kind of random characters. In the final game, none of these spawn points are used by anything at all.
- The telephone poles in Freeside all have metal plates with "TES-04" stamped on them. This is a reference to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, a game by Bethesda.
- Freeside is named as such due to the main sign losing all but the first three letters (Fremont Street), similar to Arefu, Novac, The Pitt and the Fabulous New Vegas sign.
- James Garcia created the 3D model of the neon sign letters.
- PC Playstation 3 Xbox 360 The two kids that can be spoken to have regular voice actors. After killing the rat, the girl or the boy (whichever is closest) will eat the rat. When talked to, they share a voice actor making the boy sound like a girl, or vice versa.[verified]
- PC Playstation 3 Xbox 360 Sometimes after killing the giant rat, the first boy chasing the rat will fall to his knees to take a bite but will continue to move forward at running speed despite being in a crouched position and going through the rat-eating animation.[verified]
- PC Xbox 360 Being outside of the Vegas Strip when updating the game, but having gained access to it at another point, it is possible to be permanently locked out.[verified]
- Playstation 3 Xbox 360 Sometimes outside the Old Mormon Fort the super mutant Tabitha can spawn and go hostile; killing her results in the completion of the quest "Crazy, Crazy, Crazy" (if not having started the quest it will add the quest to the Pip-Boy and just say the final bullet point).[verified]
- PC Xbox 360 Achieving a certain level of reputation in Freeside makes a King's Gang Member encourage the Courier to keep up the good work and give a little present. However, sometimes those messengers keep coming in quick succession: as soon as one leaves the location, another one appears. This doesn't seem to fix over time.[verified]
- PC Playstation 3 Xbox 360 There is a bug where you can buy the Euclid's C-Finder gun from Max multiple times.[verified]
- Playstation 3 The building by Mick & Ralph's sometimes glitches by standing by one of the corners and walking forward and hitting the Pip-Boy at the same time to fly all the way up the corner of the building and be above and sometime it will summon one on top of the Lucky 38.[verified]
- PC Playstation 3 Xbox 360 Sometimes the two kids will be going through the rodent chase animations but the rodent will be nowhere in sight.[verified]
- PC Xbox 360 After killing the giant rat for the first time, it will re-spawn a few days later, but the kids will no longer chase it. If the rat is killed, the kids will run and eat it again.[verified]
- PC Xbox 360 Sometimes when fast-traveling to an area in the wasteland, the background effects of Freeside, such as dogs barking and glass bottles breaking, will be heard.[verified]
- PC There is a bug noted elsewhere where save games do not load and the game simply hangs up. This can be triggered by spending more than a certain amount of time in Freeside. Going through transitions using autosave can often trigger this. A simple remedy is to fast travel to anywhere outside of Freeside then fast travel back to one of the Freeside gates. This is a memory leak issue that was supposedly addressed in an update, as the above Freeside sounds being heard, but still exists in the latest update. [verified]