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"Metallic Monks"
People in Freeside generally fall into one of two categories. Those who've been here all their lives call themselves Locals. They're both right to some extent, and violent outbreaks between the two are all too common these days. The Locals blame the Squatters for the scarcity of resources in Freeside, and the Squatters blame any act of violence against them on the Locals. When people from the NCR and other places started pouring in, the Locals began referring to them as Squatters, and the name stuck.Rotface

Freeside is the main slum of New Vegas in 2281. It is located directly adjacent to the Strip situated around the intersection of pre-War Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard.[1] Including the immediately surrounding area, it is protected and/or loosely ruled by the Kings and the Van Graffs. The streets are dangerous and lack the luster of the Strip. There is a conflict between the locals and squatters that has recently followed the NCR to the area.[2]

Background

Freeside was built up around the intersection of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. The influx of destitute travelers in recent months has created problems for its local residents.Fallout: New Vegas loading screen

Las Vegas was not 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.[3]

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.[3]

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 of 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.[3]

Layout

The area is divided into two sections via gates. 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. Freeside inhabitants have created a makeshift structure with the town name on the top of the ruined freeway.

There are several points of interest in this section of Freeside, including the Old Mormon Fort, the base of operations for the Followers of the Apocalypse, which is just inside Freeside's north gate. A general store in the area is Mick & Ralph's, which is located 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 a 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. A derelict building called Cerulean Robotics can be found in the western part of this section as well as a ruined store which holds an NCR food distribution center. Across from the store is the train station.

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 ruined building between the Silver Rush and the Atomic Wrangler Casino, or from the south via The Strip North Gate.

The most prominent buildings in this section include the King's School of Impersonation, home of the Kings, and the Atomic Wrangler Casino, run by the Garret twins. In addition, the Silver Rush, the base of operations for the Van Graff family arms business, is located here. 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. Each of these lots has at least one campfire.

Buildings

Inhabitants

Related quests

Notes

  • 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 approach and give the Courier either a few bottle caps or a random aid item when they enter Freeside.
  • 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 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.
  • After completing the quest Three-Card Bounty, Little Buster can be found dead near the train tracks beside Old Mormon Fort.

Appearances

Freeside appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenes

Cut content
Spare Us the Cutter
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There are glimpses of different iterations of Freeside visible in the game's scripts. Initially Freeside was one single large worldspace. This bigger map would feature a lot more NPCs, and in particular a very neat touch where travellers 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 travellers 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 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 freesideworld 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 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 travellers and a further scene with Orris' favourite 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 unfortunately 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. This may also be why this particular set was disabled (unlikely, they were just botched to be honest). 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.

The drunks here actually have a specific script that cripples their legs to make them move stumble about. Clearly this means they were made before the specific drunk animation was created.

The squatters in the ruined shop were supposed to queue up for the food according to the script notes, but it seems there wasn't enough time to implement it. The undercover NCR troopers oddly have a dedicated idle marker for sitting on the curb on the opposite side of the road to where the ruined shop is. They never actually use this marker and it doesn't make much sense for them to - the only time they appear in the game is to guard the ruined shop once you know about their actitivies in town, not lounge around in the road. Interestingly the marker used for this is in the original FreesideWorld map, in an area that is inaccessible in the final game (that part of the level was split off into the FreesideNorthWorld map). In That area there are also disabled dead members of Pacer's gang here that are also clearly leftovers from an earlier incarnation of this sequence. There are also two dedicated dead off NCR duty troops presumably to be used during the shoot out with Pacer's men that are unused. In the final game all the NCR troops are alive when you get there.

Peculiarly 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. Even stranger 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. All of this combined with the above make it even more of a shame that the vanilla game only features TWO locals on the entire map - there was clearly an insane amount of effort and imagination put into the planning for them.

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 3 old men. They have no dialogue and are not placed on the map. They seem to have two conflicting behaviours; 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 travellers. 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 weird 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.

Originally the Van Graff intro sequence in the Silver Rush was longer. The scene would start without the guy kneeling on the floor, and instead Gloria would tell Jean Baptiste to go and get him (he is locked in the bathroom, which explains that odd area), to the bewilderment of the customer. It would then be explained who he was - a former employee who was romantically involved with Gloria and cheated on her. He is then shot to show the customer not to mess with the Van Graffs. This was cut presumably due to a complete lack of bound hand animations.If restored, the "volunteer" will walk normally to his execution spot, where the bonds would magically appear on his hands as he sits down and then disappear again (bond graphics are broken in the game generally, no one who is tied up is actually tied up at all if you look!). As this whole part of the sequence was cut, a hasty edit job removed other parts that would now not make sense, including the final gag where Jean Baptiste congratulates Gloria on her great story about sleeping with the now dead guy (who he thought just stole some stuff from them). He then realises she wasn't joking and is appalled! There's also another part of this that was cut early. Originally the "volunteer" would stop at the stairs and be pushed down them onto his face by Jean Baptiste. There is a pusher object to achieve this and a trigger, but it is disabled and presumably cut very early on. Its script notes mention it will have to be spruced up on "polish week", but it seems it was just abandoned.

There's a further unfinished part of the above scene. There's a line in VFSVanGraffLaughter for all the thugs in the Silver Rush to laugh at the events that just happened. However, no voice files were ever recorded.

I'd speculate it was possible to get into the top of the Silver rush from outside at some point, as there are a number of idle furniture items in there that are impossible to see from the street - someone must have put them there on purpose. In the final game it is inaccessible.

Rotface was originally intended to have an entire unmarked quest dedicated to him where the player could influence what happened to him by way of dialogue. Once he began to make money from supplying tips to the player, he would bling up, and depending on what was said to him, either attract too much attention from local thugs and be killed and robbed, get too big for his boots and attempt to rob the player at gunpoint, decide to leave Freeside, or join the followers of the apocalypse. It seems they just plain ran out of time to implement this, as his script is only half finished despite all dialogue being present. Parts of his quest DO work in the vanilla game but are extremely hard to trigger. If the player buys exactly ten tips (not including the first "free" one he says which erroneously does not increase the counter even though it was clearly intended it should) and then leaves the area and returns, he will have bought his new hat, which is unique in the game, and embarrassingly still named "Eulogy's hat" as it's a leftover Fallout 3 item. You can also get him in his suit if you buy exactly 20 tips and return. See my Rotface to Riches mod for exactly how this was meant to play out.

There are unused placeholder "Bark" topics (i.e. things they randomly say to each other/the player) for the Followers and their guards listed as "VFSFollowersBarks". No actual dialogue exists, so possibly this is just a leftover before the real dialogue was moved to its appropriate quest.

The sleeping "patients" in the Followers fort are drawn from the Gambler pool of NPCs. However, there are also three pre created NPcs with the same name that were presumably going to be used instead at one point. They are all elderly characters. VFSFollowersSleeper1-3. They're also set to respawn, whereas the ones used in the game are not.

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.

Interestingly 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 interesting 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 Betsy as a permanent follower. There is no dialogue for any of these characters (save a few lines for the player 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 could buy Betsy from Kevin Hargrove (who therefore must be nearby, almost certainly sitting at the nearby floor idle marker), and the player could also barter for a better price. Once this happened the player would own Betsy and she would presumably act like a normal companion. However, once the player slept anywhere, a check would run, and if the player 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 (I speculate therefore 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. It's unknown what would happen next (save the player 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.

I'm pretty sure Rotface's tip about a guy selling stuff of dubious origins is actually 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 very interesting "second hand adventurering gear" - it's the player'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 behaviour. 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" behaviour 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. Their inventories also reveal something else interesting - 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. You 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 headingmarkers in the little detour area Orris takes the player 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 - likely some of the random NPCs designed to wander the area before they were removed. In the final game none of these spawn points are used by anything at all.

Bugs

  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png 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]
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png 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]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xbox360.png 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]
  • Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png 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]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xbox360.png 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]
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png There is a bug where you can buy the Euclid's C-Finder gun from Max multiple times.[verified]
  • Icon ps3.png 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 sometimes it will summon one on top of the Lucky 38.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png Sometimes the two kids will be going through the rodent chase animations but the rodent will be nowhere in sight.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xbox360.png 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]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xbox360.png 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]
  • Icon pc.png 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]

Gallery

References

  1. Fallout: New Vegas loading screen: "Freeside was built up around the intersection of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. The influx of destitute travelers in recent months has created problems for its local residents."
  2. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland; ZONE 2C: FREESIDE
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.42: "Freeside"
    "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 that emerged years later, hunted and fought among the ruins, but it was not until the "return" of Mr. House that they ceased (most) of their hostilities. Mr House directed the tribes to use his 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 Mr. House valued the area around Fremont Street, he ultimately viewed it as secondary in importance to the Strip itself and he had a second, inner wall that separated the two areas. When 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 has 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, formed from the dispossessed remnants of unfortunate tribes, 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."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  4. James Garcia's portfolio
Freeside