|For an overview of holograms in the Fallout universe, see Hologram.|
During the Sino-American War, research efforts were undertaken to weaponize holography, such as at the Big MT research facility. Based on RobCo Stealth Boy technology reverse-engineered from captured Chinese stealth suits, the researchers attempted to create a design capable of matching the Chinese technological edge. Despite promising initial results, holograms required excessive amounts of electricity to power, as well as the cost of materials and manufacturing, greatly limiting their potential. Mobile holograms, and those that could be deployed as weapons, never reached any popularity in the United States likely due to the recent developments in 2077.
Person holography was pursued at Big MT, under the name "Hologram Project," where the entire program teetered on the brink of cancellation due to poor results. However, the insistence of Frederick Sinclair, support from National Electric and significant financial backing from Sinclair's pockets kept it going for his personal project, the Sierra Madre Casino & Resort. The researchers at Big MT's Z-38 lightwave dynamics research facility (equipped with an enormous laser array) developed the first working, mobile holograms, creating 3-D human figures (including a replica of Sinclair's love Vera Keyes). This iteration of holograms and their functionality was limited as they were only good as holographic greeters and walking cameras; completely unsuited for combat. Contrary to their expectations, National Electric not only managed to weaponize holograms with their proprietary Emergency Broadcast Emitter (EBE) technology, but also drastically miniaturized the emitters and commercialized it. However, National Electric appeared to have only managed to deliver its technology to one client: Frederick Sinclair and the Sierra Madre Casino. The EBE allowed holograms to attack identified threats with lethal force while remaining practically invulnerable to retaliation. Its only weak point were the emitters, which could be destroyed despite their space-age alloy housing or disabled if someone tampered with circuits. However if the emitters were safe, custom energy recycling emitters could keep them going indefinitely.
Sierra Madre holograms, as projections, rather than actual physical entities, are invulnerable to damage. They are divided into two distinct groups: Service and security holograms, all modeled after actual Sierra Madre personnel. The former are simple utility projections, providing the automated systems of the Villa and the casino (such as vending points or casino games) with a user-friendly interface. These are non-hostile and are not equipped with an EBE device. In case of an emergency, the service holograms are disabled and replaced with security variants.
The security holograms are a completely different affair. As invulnerable as the service holograms, they are designed for enforcing order and security at the casino and the Villa, designed to supplant traditional security guards. Their security protocols allow them to perceive their environment in a roughly 90 degree cone in front of them, with the planned 360 degree perception arc upgrade never materializing due to the war. National Electric recommended the purchase of two emitters to allow for paired deployment in a kind of robotic buddy system. These blindspots represent the only advantage an unauthorized invader has over the holograms, as staying out of the hologram's field of view will prevent retaliation.
If detected, the holograms will first display a warning color (changing their silhouette to yellow), and then transfer to engagement mode (signified by a red-colored silhouette), attempting to subdue the offender with their discharge beams. The holograms were programmed to engage intruders and people committing criminal activities. All holograms in the Sierra Madre have their EBE systems configured to kill, rather than subdue. If the target evades the hologram, it will resume its normal routine after some time. This is made easier by the fact that the emitters have a limited range and will only pursue the target as far as their perimeter allows.
The only way to permanently disable a hologram is to destroy its emitter. Although housed in space-age alloys, they can be destroyed with blunt force or disabled by tampering with their circuits. The latter generally meant having to contact National Electric for repairs, as user maintenance was strongly discouraged.
The security holograms can be difficult to deal with, no matter the player character's level or equipment used. They can be "destroyed" only by destroying or disabling their respective emitter. They can alternatively be reprogrammed to patrol different layers of the casino.
Holograms are present in the Villa, though most are non-hostile and one even has the option to activate several security holograms to guard Dean Domino during the quest Trigger the Gala Event. There is only one hostile hologram located in the Villa, it is located inside the Villa clinic. Holograms are the primary enemy upon first entering the Sierra Madre Casino & Resort, and it is not possible to shut them down due to the emitters not being accessible. Instead, one must use the terminals to reroute their patrols. Later on, when the power is reactivated in the casino, the security holograms disappear and are replaced with casino floor managers, a cashier, bartender, and a lobby greeter. Reprogramming the starlet holograms in the Executive suites prevent them from becoming hostile. A hologram of Dean Domino can also be used to shut down the security protocols in the Tampico Theater. Holograms are also present in Sierra Madre vault, in the last room before entering the vault itself.
This version of the hologram is the main security version. They appear in the Villa clinic and in the Sierra Madre Casino & Resort. It appears to be wearing Sierra Madre armor. The emergency defense system activated these holograms when the bombs dropped, and they are still actively patrolling.
Generic friendly female holograms. One is seen during the quest Curtain Call at the Tampico.
All the starlet holograms have the appearance of Vera Keyes. Unlike security holograms, Starlet holograms don't always attack the player, the exceptions being those found in the Executive suites. Outside the Sierra Madre Casino & Resort there's an additional starlet hologram, featured prominently in the central Villa fountain.
Throughout the Sierra Madre there are several vendors from which to buy various items, such as food and drinks. Vendor locations include the casino and cafe. This type of hologram will ignore attacks, and will not turn hostile towards the player character.
Although they have no caps (being pre-War tech), the vendors carry large quantities of pre-War money, which can be used to barter with them.
The Dean hologram is a stage-performing hologram found in The Tampico theater at the Sierra Madre Casino & Resort. During the quest Curtain Call at the Tampico, the hologram of Dean Domino will perform the song "Something's Gotta Give", on the Tampico stage. After the song, he will receive some applause from hologram spectators, and subsequently disappear from the stage.
Holograms are found throughout the Sierra Madre.
- If one approaches the starlet holograms closely enough (without alerting them), the Courier can overhear Vera's voice calling Sinclair for help. This was her final moments before Vera took her own life.
- The Starlet security holograms are capable of opening doors, unlike the normal counterparts.
- Upon completing Dead Money, if one returns to the Executive suites without deactivating the hologram emitters, but instead has made them passive via the terminal, all Starlet holograms will reset, and become hostile upon spotting the Courier. It is suggested that the player deactivate the emitters the first time through, even if they have used the terminal, to prevent injury if they plan on returning.
- With low intelligence, the Courier will struggle to interact with the hologram vendors and mistake them for "light men".
Hologram beam sound
- Dead Money loading screen hint: "It is believed hologram technology originally stemmed from Stealth Boy research in a scientific drive to match Chinese stealth suit technology."
- Dead Money loading screen hint: "Hologram technology never achieved the same level of prominence, notably due to the excessive energy constraints."
- Dead Money loading screen hint: "There are no reports of hologram technology being popular in the Pre-War era, and certainly no reports of Holograms employing weapons."
- Z-38 lightwave dynamics research terminal entries; terminal, Requisition Order: Holograms
- The Courier: "What are these Holograms?"
Elijah: " They carry out the functions the dead once did. They cannot be harmed... they only perform the same rote tasks until their power dies. They are of no consequence - except for the Security Holograms, the ones with the silhouettes of the armored Sierra Madre guards."
The Courier: "Why?"
Elijah: " Their design limits their field of view, enough to avoid detection. Each has an emitter - destroy or disable it, and they cease to be a threat. "
- Sierra Madre vault terminal entries[clarification needed]
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Hologram Emitters 5.0
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Maintenance 2.0
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Maintenance 8.3
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Addendum: Appearance 2.4.1
- Events of Dead Money in the Sierra Madre Casino.
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Security Protocols 2.4
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Security Protocols 2.5
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Threat Detection 2.6
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Security Protocols 2.7
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Threat Response 2.6.2
- Villa clinic terminal entries; Clinic security terminal, Hologram: Installation and Maintenance 1.1