Colonel James Hsu is the commanding officer of the New California Republic Army's Camp McCarran and New Vegas garrison units in 2281. He is found at Camp McCarran terminal building, in his office in the northern section on the building's ground floor.
A level-headed, competent officer of the New California Republic Army, Colonel Hsu is the commanding officer of most of the New Vegas garrison and the nexus of NCRA's military efforts in the Mojave, Camp McCarran. Unlike Colonel Moore or General Oliver, Hsu is far more sympathetic to the locals and less of a war hawk. He is also in charge of water and power distribution in Freeside. He is a staunch believer in diplomacy over the force of arms and cares a great deal about the soldiers under his command, working steadily to better their situation. As it stands, he's stuck in a holding pattern managing troop rosters and trying to contain the Fiend threat on the western flank.
Hsu displays a considerable understanding of the political and military situation in the Mojave, recognizing the difficulties the NCR face. His combination of high competence and dedication with a great deal of modesty has made him well-liked by his troops, drawing the ire of General Oliver, who may see him as an up-and-coming rival. Craig Boone speaks highly of the colonel, and remarks that if it weren't for General Oliver's interference, Hsu would have already been a general by 2281.
Before the events of Fallout: New Vegas, Hsu served alongside the future warden of the NCR Correctional Facility, Nathan for seven years. During this time Nathan helped Hsu in an unspecified way in the town of Modoc, and Hsu still owed him a favor for this. Nathan decided to try and use this favor to get new guards assigned to NCRCF and stop his existing guards being reassigned to guard the Colorado River, but was killed in the NCRCF prison break before he could.
Interactions with the player character
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- I Put a Spell on You: Colonel Hsu is suspicious and thinks that there might be a spy in Camp McCarran.
- Kings' Gambit: Go to Colonel Hsu and tell him about the situation in Freeside. He will tell the Courier to offer the King support from the NCR.
- Bounty Killer: Hsu talks about how bad the Fiends are and mentions their leader, Motor-Runner, who's living in Vault 3. Kill him, take his helmet and bring it back to Colonel Hsu for a reward.
- Rest and Resupply: After gaining a "liked" reputation with the NCR, Hsu will provide the key to the NCR Ranger safehouse.
- Silus Treatment: Offer one's services in making captured Caesar's Legion officer Silus talk.
- In dialogue originally intended to be heard after the Second Battle of Hoover Dam but still available in-game while the battle is going on, Colonel Cassandra Moore says that upon learning of the NCR's success in the Mojave, her superiors first turned to Hsu since he was in command of operations in the area, but he denied having anything to do with the victory. As a result of his modesty, Hsu got passed over for a promotion and Moore was promoted to brigadier general instead.
- Despite the two of them being the same military rank, Colonel Hsu has more authority than Colonel Moore, as he is the commander of all NCR Army operations in the Mojave Desert.
- "Calm is what you have to be when people look to you. And it's all you can be when things are out of your hands."
Colonel James Hsu appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- Colonel Hsu is the Seven of Hearts in the deck of Vault playing cards included with the Collector's Edition of Fallout: New Vegas.
- “Kimball is a war hawk as are Moore and Oliver. Hsu is a much more sympathetic person and diplomatic officer (such as when dealing with the Kings in Freeside). As such, he doesn't really fit into Kimball's front line operations.”— J.E. Sawyer
- NCR Correctional Facility terminal entries; warden's terminal, [Draft of complaint to NCR command.]
- The Courier: "You seem calm given that things are as bad as they are."
James Hsu: "Calm is what you have to be when people look to you. And it's all you can be when things are out of your hands."
(Colonel Hsu's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Is Moore in charge of all the NCR troopers out here?"
Hanlon: "No, and thanks to General Oliver for that. Colonel is at McCarran. Most of the New Vegas troopers are under his command. He's more sympathetic to the locals than Moore, but he's got the Fiends to deal with."
- The Courier: "Are you in charge of the NCR around here?"
Cassandra Moore: "I command the garrison here at the dam, yes, but Colonel over at McCarran is technically in charge of the area's forces."
(Cassandra Moore's dialogue)
- The Courier: "So what do you suggest?"
Dennis Crocker: "I'd suggest you speak to Colonel Hsu over at Camp McCarran. He's much more level-headed about this sort of thing. He's also in a better position to bargain with the people of Freeside, seeing as how he's in charge of water and power distribution in the area. Still, I'm only mentioning it as an option. My official orders are to direct you to Colonel Moore. Godspeed."
(Dennis Crocker's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Do you know Colonel Hsu at all?"
Craig Boone: "Yeah. He introduced himself to me once. I shook his hand. Doubt he'd remember me now, though. When he looked at you, you could see he understood. After some of the things we'd seen, that meant something. What I heard, he'd be a general right now if Oliver didn't know the president."
(Craig Boone's dialogue)
- The Courier: "How have things been since the battle?"
Cassandra Moore: "Surprisingly good. Our forces have managed to secure the region with little resistance, and trade should soon reach an all-time high. The brass was particularly surprised by the lack of domestic threats in the area. They were prepared to spend months pacifying known troublemakers. When they found those threats absent, they turned to the man in charge of the area, but Hsu being Hsu, he denied having anything to do with it. So now the men have to answer to Brigadier General Moore, and both they and I have you to thank for it. We made a good team. I hope we can work together again in the future."
(Cassandra Moore's dialogue)