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For Hoover Dam as it was supposed to appear in Van Buren, Black Isle Studios' canceled Fallout 3, see Hoover Dam (Van Buren).
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Kimball, Caesar, House... you'd think their whole world was that wall, cutting the Colorado. If I'd never laid eyes on it, never spoke of it...Ulysses, Lonesome Road

Hoover Dam, called the Old World Wall by Ulysses, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. It lies on the border between the former US states of Arizona and Nevada.


Before the Great War, the Hoover Dam was a main power supplier to the greater Four States Commonwealth (Arizona and New Mexico) along with the Southwest Commonwealth (Nevada and Southern California) and possibly parts of the Texas Commonwealth. When the Great War first broke out, some of Mr. House's laser battery systems kept the Hoover Dam in almost untouched condition along with a majority of Las Vegas; however due to the war the plant was shut down, whether this is from the Great Blackout or workers abandoning the facility is unknown.

In 2274 after a long period of lying dormant, Hoover Dam was taken by the New California Republic with the arrival of the first NCR scouts at Hoover Dam. This action spurred Mr. House into action as a sign of returning civilization. Mr. House then sent his Securitron army out onto the New Vegas Strip and rallied the tribals occupying the city, ensuring that when the NCR first reached New Vegas, they would return with stories of a city of lights in the middle of the desert, bringing in the tourist revenue required for Mr. House to carry forward his plans. He worried about the independence of his new city's power source, but fortunately the arrival of Caesar's Legion in the region meant that the NCR could not take the Dam and the Strip without significant casualties, which would leave them vulnerable to the Legion. Mr. House and the NCR drew up the New Vegas Treaty, out of necessity more than anything. 95% of the Dam's power output would go to the NCR, and in return Vegas' independence would be guaranteed.

In 2277, the Legion, led by the Malpais Legate, briefly took the Dam, but were defeated shortly after when the NCR performed a tactical retreat to destroy the Legion by trapping them in Boulder City. After the Battles of Willow Beach and Arizona Spillway, the Dam stands as the only foothold the NCR has east of the Colorado River. It is the central point of the power struggle between NCR, the Legion, and Mr. House, and with the Second Battle of Hoover Dam on the horizon, it is certain that the outcome will determine the fate of the entire Mojave Wasteland.

While troopers are active here, there are also a large number of civilian contractors and engineers who are trying to keep the dam running as smoothly as possible. They are of a secondary concern to Moore, who is preparing for an impending attack by Caesar and a visit by President Kimball.


Hoover Dam covers a large area with extensive exterior and interior sections, despite there only being one map marker for the entire location. Following the Colorado River downstream (or coming upstream from Cottonwood Cove), the player will encounter a pontoon barrier.


The west side of the dam is controlled by the NCR and features the anti-aircraft gun seen on billboards. The fast-travel map marker puts the player just outside of the entrance to the Hoover Dam visitor center. Just north of the visitor center building is a stage and viewing area. To the west of the stage is a large anti-aircraft cannon. Continuing north along the barricaded road leads to the top of the dam itself. Two towers are along the south edge of the road. Access to Hoover Dam Intake Tower 01 and 02 is via a bridge connected to the north side of the road. The road ends at a checkpoint door which is inaccessible until the final quest, such as Eureka! The checkpoint contains a Very Hard locked terminal, and a few lockers with minor loot. It also houses a small sniper nest on the roof, accessible via a ladder.

Access to the north and south bases of the dam are blocked off by a pontoon barrier when attempting to swim downriver toward it. Pontoons hold sections of chain link fence in place along the top of the water, while weights keep the submerged ends in place and the whole structure taut. While it is possible to get above the top of the chain link fence from the water, invisible barriers prevent you from actually hopping over it, even when attempted from the cliffs far above the barrier; though it is possible to jump off the north side of the dam into the water. This places the player on the opposite side of the pontoon barrier and allows the player to swim the length of the Hoover Dam. However, using the console to toggle collisions, and then continuing into the Northern side of the Dam's waters through the pontoon barrier will cause the game to crash. A one-way ladder upwards is available to return to the top of the dam on the NCR side of the river.

The east side of the dam is controlled by the Legion. Going west along the barricaded road leads to the top of the dam itself. Access to Hoover Dam Intake Tower 03 and 04 is via a bridge connected to the north side of the road. There are two towers along the south edge of the road, one is ruined.

The south base of the dam is accessible by descending through interior sections of the dam and exiting from the second tier of either Hoover Dam Power Plant 02 or 04. There are spectacular gushers of water from outflow pipes high up on the east and west walls of the river canyon. You can swim from the west to the east side and climb up on the concrete area by swimming all the way to the south end and walking up the sandbar to the southeast corner.


See the individual buildings and sections for descriptions of the dam interior.



Notable lootEdit

Related questsEdit


  • It is one of the few locations with outside fresh water as well as inside.
  • Mike Lawson talks about repairing the non-functional dam turbines and even though the Courier can swim down to reach the turbines, the game never makes the repairs an option for quests.
  • If the Courier jumps on the artillery cannon, runs down the barrel and jump, he/she can go past the game's barrier and go to the bottom of Hoover Dam. Just save before you hit the ground, then load. Facing the direction of the river, if the Courier goes on the right side, he/she can find a door to the Hoover Dam Power Plant 2 and a door leading to Power Plant 4. Otherwise this area of the map is inaccessible. (There is an "exit door" in the North East corner of plant 02 and 04, behind metal stairway which ascends west to top of generator, that can be used to exit to the spillway.) One of these doors is also used in the final quest.
  • During the battle at Hoover Dam, most non-player characters wear masks. This has been motivated by J.E.Sawyer as an attempt to reduce memory usage, since "FaceGen/FaceFX data can be expensive."[1] These masks look like the goggles and bandana of recruit helmets, worn beneath regular helmets like the Trooper helmet and centurion helmet.
  • When on top of the first sniper tower, the Courier can lock and unlock the ladder. However, it can be used either way.
  • If the Courier jumps down from the Hoover Dam into the water on the north side, and swims as far east as possible until he/she can't jump/walk any further, the Courier may begin to hear artillery fire and flying shells even though he/she has not started the battle at Hoover Dam. In addition to the sound effects, the theme music of Hoover Dam will change to the version heard in one of the end game quests.
  • The NCR rangers walking on the dam do not actually wear NCR Ranger patrol armor, but a lower resolution type of clothing that is only for aesthetic purposes, the insignia on the shoulder is blurry, the water pack on their backs is flat, and rifle-grip weapons do not change position when holstered. Much like the face masks worn by troopers, the armor cannot be looted from their inventory.
  • If the Courier jumps off the north side of Hoover Dam and returns to the top of the Dam, the game may glitch and cause things like the artillery cannon to completely disappear and the texture for the road in front of the visitor center to change.
  • There are invisible walls around the area where Kimball speaks. This may result in his body coming back because he bounced off the wall (if exploded and killed, as ragdoll physics will take over).
  • Arcade Gannon will make some comments about the Dam when first brought to the area.
  • Hoover Dam has its own unique set of music that will not play in any other location in the game.
  • The Mojave Chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel were initially focused on taking the dam and putting it to use, but they were sidetracked at HELIOS One, allowing the NCR to claim it first, although in theory they are still planning on taking it.[2]


Hoover Dam appears in Fallout: New Vegas and was going to appear in the canceled Van Buren.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The Hoover Dam is based on the real world location Hoover Dam, a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona.
  • Many sections and landmarks of the real world Hoover Dam are seen in-game, including the towering bronze sculptures Winged Figures of the Republic, dam blueprints, visitor center, spillways, power plants, intake towers, lower levels, architecture, outbuildings, and structure of the dam itself, and the elegant Art Deco style interior of the visitors center.
  • The maps of the Hoover Dam scattered around the Mojave are blueprints created in the 1930s and can be seen in the University of Nevada Las Vegas Digital Collections [3].
  • On the side of one of the stone guard towers is a banner reading, "LEGION GO HOME". This is a reference to the real life slogan "Ami go home", originally a protest from European communists against US occupiers after WWII, later adopted by European peace movements during the Vietnam war and more recently the gulf wars.
    • The other side of this is a reference to the film Monty Python's Life of Brian wherein the main character writes "Romanes eunt domus", grammatically incorrect for "Romans, go home." He is later corrected by a Roman Centurion.[4]



Hoover Dam
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