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For other characters in the Fallout universe named Graham, see Graham.
For other characters named Joshua, see Joshua.
 
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By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. Remember, O Lord, The Children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem who said, "Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation." O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed. How happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.— Joshua Graham, reciting Psalm 137:1, 7-9 from the King James Bible

Joshua Graham (known formerly as the Malpais Legate, and in folk legends as the Burned Man) is a Mormon missionary, co-founder of Caesar's Legion, and its first Legate.

Graham led Caesar's troops to a humiliating defeat in the First Battle of Hoover Dam. Afterward, Caesar, showing that failure was unacceptable regardless of rank, ordered him to be coated in pitch, lit on fire, and tossed into the Grand Canyon. He survived, however, and left Caesar's Legion behind him. He is the acting leader of the Dead Horses in 2281.

BackgroundEdit

Early lifeEdit

Joshua Graham was born in New Canaan, a Mormon community established in what remained of the city of Ogden, Utah. He grew up in peaceful times, learning the trade of a missionary and an interpreter, due to his natural aptitude for languages. In 2246, Graham received the mission call for his sacred service, to spread the good news to the people of the wasteland. By the time he left his home, he was already fluent in several tribal dialects. His knowledge made him a natural choice when the Followers of the Apocalypse asked for assistance in their expedition to the Grand Canyon. Graham departed Canaan, following the Long 15 and Highway 89 south towards Arizona, meeting Calhoun and Sallow on the way, sent by the Followers to provide education to local tribes and study their dialects.[2]

Around 2247, the Blackfoots were their first stop in the Canyon. Joshua proved to be a capable interpreter, though eventually the hospitality of their hosts was replaced with hostility. Whether it was an error in translation that Joshua made or some unrelated misunderstanding, the Blackfoots decided to hold the entire expedition for ransom.[3][4] This was a problematic situation, as the Blackfoots were at war with seven other tribes in the Grand Canyon, and were clearly losing. Against Calhoun's objections, Sallow decided to take charge of the situation: He taught the tribes how to care for their weapons, make explosives, work as a combat unit, with Graham continuing to serve as an interpreter and the first war leader of the Legion. Graham was indispensable to Sallow's plan, who turned the disorganized tribe into a capable fighting force, trained in small unit tactics, weapon use and maintenance, and the manufacture of arms and weapons.[5]

Malpais LegateEdit

JoshuaGrahamLegate

The Legate rallies his legionaries

With his teachings and Graham's skills, the Blackfoots prevailed over the other tribes, becoming the nucleus of the Legion. Graham became a commander, training the forces of the fledgling army and leading them in battle. His leadership position soon entailed retaliatory raids and terrorizing local tribes prior to assimilation into the Legion. When Sallow crowned himself Caesar, Graham became his first Legate, the Malpais Legate.[6][7] For thirty years he helped Caesar conquer the tribes of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, forging the Legion. Though he was neither a particularly brilliant strategist nor tactically flexible, his menace and brutality were infamous. The atrocities he committed made him feared by friend and foe alike. He was dangerous, unpredictable, and above all else legendary for being impossible to kill, even by NCR Rangers. But all great men eventually end. For Graham, the end came at the First Battle of Hoover Dam.[8]

Caesar's obsession with uniting the wasteland under the banner of his Legion resulted in him attacking the New California Republic in 2277. After a series of skirmishes east of the Colorado, Caesar's 68[9] attacked the Dam. Graham's tenacity was legendary at this point: Despite efforts by both the NCR Rangers and 1st Recon east of the Colorado River and five kill reports on Graham, the Legate remained a menace at large.[10] However, Graham underestimated the enemy while overestimating his own skill as a commander. He deployed his legionaries in the usual fashion, trying to defeat the Republic as he fought the tribes out east. Chief Hanlon anticipated this move, drawing the legionaries into a trap.[11] As General Lee Oliver's soldiers held the line, Rangers and Army sharpshooters targeted their commanders, sowing chaos in Legion ranks. When the Legate ordered his elite forces to punch through and pursue Rangers decimating his officers and sowing chaos in the ranks, the Rangers and 1st Recon sharpshooters retreated into Boulder City. Elements of the Army and Rangers kept the Legion engaged long enough to allow the most experienced legionaries to enter the city. When they did, the Republic's forces pulled out of the city. Once most of them were safe (soldiers and Rangers trapped behind Legion lines had to be abandoned, they triggered explosives packed into the buildings in advance. Chief Hanlon's plan went off without a hitch: The exploding buildings acted as giant fragmentation bombs, killing and maiming most of the legionaries and leaving the rest in a state of shock. The Army and Rangers followed the detonation with a counter-attack, destroying the Legion on the western side of the Colorado River and forcing the Malpais Legate to retreat from the dam. Flanking attacks at Camp Golf and other camps in the Mojave were similarly repulsed.[12]

The Malpais Legate returned to Caesar in shame. To demonstrate that failure is not tolerated, even at the highest of ranks, Caesar ordered Graham to be burned alive. The former Legate was covered in pitch, lit on fire, and thrown into the Grand Canyon, for leading the Legion into its worst defeat in Legion's history.[13]

Prodigal sonEdit

JoshuaGrahamExecution

The birth of the Burned Man

I survived because the fire inside burned brighter than the fire around me.

Graham survived the fall. He woke up the following day, burned, broken, but alive. Eventually, the fallen Legate crawled out of the northern edge of the Grand Canyon and began his journey home. It took him three months to reach New Canaan, three months of suffering. Graham's immunity to modern medicine made it impossible for him to dull the pain and he had to replace the bandages covering his burned, twisted skin each day to prevent infection. But he persevered and upon reaching New Canaan, he was welcomed like one of their own, like a prodigal son returning home. In his eyes, his second baptism at the hands of the Legion and subsequent survival transformed him, rekindled his faith and removed his pride and vanity; and the thirty years of separation, atrocities, and shame, were irrelevant to his family.[14][15] Legends of the Burned Man stalking the wastelands began to spread and eventually reached the ears of Caesar. He forbade legionaries from speaking Graham's true name under threat of death (Damnatio memoriae), only enhancing the myth of the Burned Man,[16] and issued a kill order to his frumentarii. Wherever he was, his agents would find and destroy him.[17] For his part, Graham decided to forgive Caesar, in keeping with the idea that you hate the sin, but love the sinner.[18] Graham is acutely aware of Caesar's desire to see him dead, thanks to the sheer number of frumentarii and assassins that came looking for him.[19]

JoshuaGrahamWalk

Joshua Graham making his way to New Canaan after killing several assassins of Caesar's Legion

By 2281, Graham's past finally caught up with the fallen Legate. The White Legs, whipped into a frenzy and equipped by Ulysses, attacked New Canaan while Joshua was away from the city, in a bid to ingratiate themselves with the Legion by destroying the tribe of Canaan and Graham along with it. Survivors scattered into the wilderness, with the bulk of them escaping into Zion Canyon. In order to defend them and the tribes that made their home in the canyon, Graham assumed the position of war chief among the Dead Horses, while Daniel, another missionary and survivor from New Canaan, joined up with the Sorrows.[20]

While Daniel would have Graham fight a delaying action to allow the Sorrows and Dead Horses to safely evacuate Zion and lose White Legs in the wilderness, Graham desires nothing more than bringing God's justice to those who would bring harm to others. The desire for vengeance on those who butchered his people, killing all who could not run away fast enough - the elderly, the ill, children, those who stopped to help - burns within him, a fire stoked further by his own personal demons and desire for redemption.[21] It is only fitting that he breaks them in Zion, in a natural temple and monument to the glory of his god.[22]

PersonalityEdit

Honest-Heartsburing1

Joshua Graham inspecting .45 Auto pistols for use against the White Legs

I pray for the safety of all good people who come to Zion, even Gentiles, but we can't expect God to do all the work.— Joshua Graham and his two sides

Joshua Graham is a conflicted man. Originally a zealous missionary from Ogden, he steadily betrayed everything he held dear in service to Caesar. Caught up in maintenance of a brutal, nomadic army of reconditioned tribals, and the conquests out East, Graham slowly became a monster. Small compromises turned increasingly sinister and brutal, with Graham rationalizing them as making the best of a bad situation and doing what needed to be done. In the end, however, he and Caesar had built a society on a foundation of fear and brutality, with Graham turned into a monster by three decades of warfare and atrocities. Joshua eventually believed his own lies and rationalizations, but when the defeat at Hoover Dam came, he lost all momentum. Abandoned by Caesar and his people, the fallen Legate was forced to reflect on his life and face the monster that he became. Unlike most, Joshua chose not to blame Caesar, but himself, and journeyed to seek forgiveness from the people he abandoned three decades prior.[23]

Their acceptance rekindled Graham's faith, creating a zealot plagued by uncertainty as to the nature of the fire burning inside him, whether it illuminates or destroys. The destruction of New Canaan and war with the White Legs have done little to help Graham come to terms with his paths, instead of fueling the worst impulses he learned during his time with the Legion. His thirst for vengeance and extermination puts him at odds with Daniel, who fears what the long term consequences of stoking this kind of flame could be: Graham unwittingly creating a war cult not too dissimilar from the Legion, clothed in the guise of Christian faith, but entirely devoid of its principles.[24]

Opinions of factionsEdit

Despite his former allegiance to Caesar's Legion, the Burned Man does not hold any ill will towards any allies of the NCR. To him, the NCR is still redeemable in his eyes, stating that the greed of man is what led to the Great War and that only through faith in God and prayer and genuine acts of kindness can humanity hope to prevent history from repeating itself.

He also has a dim opinion of Mr. House, seeing him as another Caesar; a man who rallied together his own set of tribes using his own methods to assume domination over others.

His hatred towards the Legion stems not just from the fact he was made an example by Caesar, but also Caesar's belief that his will alone will unite the wasteland under the Legion's banner and his refusal to let anything stop him. Ultimately his greatest enmity is for himself - for letting himself get swept up in Caesar's rise to power, for falling in line as his Legate and for willfully perpetuating the innumerable atrocities that helped establish his rule. What he believed may have been the start of a society of equals under one banner has become a totalitarian culture dominated by one man.

Interactions with the player characterEdit

Honest HeartsEdit

Interactions overviewEdit

Perk nociception regulator
This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.
FriendlyFoe
This character is a temporary companion.
Barter
This character is a merchant. Caps: 1500-2000
Sells: ammunition
consumables
weapons
weapon mods
Fullmaintenance
This character can repair items. Repair cap: 100
GoodNatured
This character starts quests.
Perk empathy synthesizer
This character is involved in quests.

QuestsEdit

Other interactionsEdit

  • A Legion affiliated Courier can confront Graham and ask him what would happen if Caesar is to be aware of his survival. He simply says even if he were to be killed, Caesar will not acknowledge his death in order to avoid admitting failure in killing Graham.
  • If the Courier asks him a "personal" question about his burns and passes a Speech check of 70, he says that he is in constant pain from them. He reveals that he is immune to chems (only stimpaks work on him) and every day has to remove the bandages he wore the previous day and put on fresh ones. The pain he feels when removing the bandages is as worse as being set on fire again, but does it because "it is better to be clean than comfortable."

Effects of player's actionsEdit

  • If the Courier has killed Caesar, they will have a dialogue option to tell Graham that Caesar is dead. His reaction is tempered, but notes his surprise that Caesar died before he did and further opines on the Legion's future; beliving that Legate Lanius is not capable of long term leadership and the Legion will die with Caesar.
  • If the Courier throws frag mines around Graham when he is following them, he will tell them not to throw mines all over Zion.

CompanionEdit

  • As a follower, Joshua will refuse to open his inventory or wait and he will neglect the Courier's requests to talk with him.
  • Joshua Graham can repair equipment to 100% condition. He accepts and will repair every weapon in the game, but doesn't repair all types of apparel, making him only the fifth-best non-player character with the ability to repair to max condition, the other four being Paladin Sato, Raul Tejada, Major Knight, and the Sink Central Intelligence Unit.

Other interactionsEdit

  • Joshua Graham is one of the few named non-player characters in the game to be affected by the Sneering Imperialist perk.
  • During Eureka!, if the player has completed Honest Hearts and Lonesome Road, the Courier can confront Lanius and mention Graham's actions as Legate during the first battle as part of a Speech check.
    • If passed, Lanius will berate and threaten the Courier for speaking his name and comparing Graham to "any man of Caesar."

EndingsEdit

This section is transcluded from Honest Hearts endings. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.
# Slide Voice-over narration In-game condition
1
Nvdlc02 endingslide joshua
After a long and troubled life, Joshua Graham finally found rest in Zion. In the end, his unswerving militancy had accomplished what the NCR's finest sharpshooters and Caesar's wrath could not. The New Canaanites took comfort in the belief that their brother's soul would again dwell in Zion at the end of days. Kill Joshua Graham.
2
Nvdlc02 endingslide joshua
The threat of the White Legs ended, Joshua Graham helped the Sorrows and Dead Horses tend to their fallen comrades and secure Zion. The Courier's words had stayed Joshua's wrath in his darkest hour, and in sparing Salt-Upon-Wounds, he was changed. While he continued to advocate militant opposition to the enemies of New Canaan, he sometimes showed quarter to those who crossed his family. Eventually this new spirit would diminish the myth of the Burned Man in distant lands - a small price for the peace it brought to Joshua Graham. Help Joshua Graham Defend Zion Valley and exterminate the White Legs, then convince Joshua Graham to spare Salt-Upon-Wounds.
3
Nvdlc02 endingslide joshua
With the White Legs crushed, Joshua Graham led the Sorrows and Dead Horses in tearing apart and burning the corpses of their enemies. He set about training his army in the "Way of the Canaanite," and soon the New Canaanites and tribes of Zion were feared well into the Mojave. Legends of the Burned Man grew even more depraved, and terrifying. Help Joshua Graham crush the White Legs and then allow Joshua Graham to execute Salt-Upon-Wounds.
4
Nvdlc02 endingslide joshua
Though the Courier had stopped Joshua Graham from executing Salt-Upon-Wounds, the war chief still fell in battle. The White Legs defeated at Three Marys, Joshua led the Sorrows and Dead Horses in tending to their comrades and burning the corpses of their foes. He continued to advocate militant opposition to the enemies of New Canaan and showed little quarter to those he fought. And yet he was changed. He no longer reveled in the brutality and cruelty for which he had been known in his former life. His inner demons, if not extinguished, were at the least... appeased. Help Joshua Graham crush the White Legs and kill Salt-Upon-Wounds yourself.

Van BurenEdit

Gametitle-VBThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

OverviewEdit

Joshua Graham (then referred to as the "Hanged Man") was to be a CNPC in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios. He was to be the first, and statistically best, CNPC that the player character encountered, but was also very evil and in some ways made the game extremely difficult for a character with poor negotiating skills. He was intended to be a "jinxed" non-player character, like the pariah dog.

Effects of player's actionsEdit

The Prisoner was to encounter somebody hanged by the neck from a pole at Fort Abandon, obviously still alive and enraged. If cut down, the Hanged Man would tag along with the Prisoner. He was wrapped from head to toe in bandages as he had been burned all over his entire body. Save for the fact that he had a connection to Caesar's Legion and was particularly ticked off at them, he would not provide many details about himself.

Rescuing the Hanged Man would cause all the tribals in the region to be angry with the Prisoner as the tribals would blame him for future crimes committed by the Hanged Man. In addition, the Hanged Man may anger any tribals he encounters and try to butcher any Twin Mothers tribals he could find. Having him in the party would make dealing with tribals and some towns extremely difficult.

The Hanged Man would not enter New Canaan. Upon arrival, he would initiate dialogue with the Prisoner and tell them that they had something to take care of, offering to meet at Burham Springs later on.[25] Bishop Mordecai would be able to reveal some details about him.

Upon entering Burham Springs, the Hanged Man might quote 2 Chronicles: 28. The Hanged Man would laughingly refuse to drop his weapons if commanded to by Phil, possibly even inciting Phil to open fire on the party. It would be very difficult for the Prisoner to defuse the situation.[26]

Gametitle-VBEnd of information based on Van Buren.

InventoryEdit

NotesEdit

  • Joshua, along with Calhoun and Caesar, appears on the back of the Legion Denarius.
  • Despite claiming that he accepts all forms of currency (in his words, "even Legion coin") you cannot sell Legion Denarii to him.
  • Even when he was the Legate of Caesar's Legion, Joshua Graham always wore his personal SLCPD armor.
  • Joshua Graham is an expert with the .45 Auto pistol (from the tradition in New Canaan) and possesses a unique commander style model.
    • He is also a master with melee weapons and uses the butt end of his unique .45 Auto pistol as a powerful melee weapon.
  • When first entering a dialogue with Graham, he will refer to the player character as "the Courier he didn't expect," and then go on to say, "then again, he wouldn't have come with a caravan." The implication is that he expected Ulysses, rather than the player character, to come and attempt to assassinate him, adding to the evidence of Ulysses' allegiance to Caesar's Legion.
  • Similar to Father Elijah and his holographic avatar image, Joshua Graham has a slightly different in-game appearance when compared to the Honest Hearts cover art. In the game, he has pale blue eyes instead of bright blue and his burned skin is grayer around his eyes.
  • Pickpocketing only works on Joshua while he is asleep.
  • Joshua Graham is the only Fallout: New Vegas companion with "good" Karma, while all of the other companions have "neutral" Karma.
  • If he survives all events, the Honest Hearts endings state that Joshua Graham leads the Dead Horses tribe. He is nowhere to be found upon the Courier's return to Zion, presumably having returned to Dead Horse Point with the majority of the tribe.
  • Joshua's pre-burned face is shaped differently than his post-burned face.
  • Joshua is one of two characters in Fallout: New Vegas to possess an irremovable mask - the other being Ulysses.

Notable quotesEdit

  • "I have been baptized twice, once in water, once in flame. I will carry the fire of the holy spirit inside until I stand before my Lord for judgement."
  • "Caesar would never admit this openly, but he knows I'm alive. I've killed enough of his frumentarii and assassins that have come looking."
  • "I don't enjoy killing, but when done righteously, it's just a chore, like any other."
  • "Die where you stand!"
  • "We have made and kept covenants with our Lord, God, to honor his laws. In exchange, we are promised eternal salvation after this life."
  • "I survived because the fire inside burned brighter than the fire around me. I fell down into that dark chasm, but the flame burned on and on."
  • "In the best of all possible worlds, they would just leave us in peace. But they won't."
  • "I want to have my revenge. Against him. Against Caesar. I want to call it my own, to make my anger God's anger. To justify the things I've done."
  • "Lastly, waging war against good people is bad for the soul. This may not seem important to you now, but it's the most important thing I've said."
  • "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. Remember, O Lord, The Children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem who said, "Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation." O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed. How happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." – Joshua Graham, reciting Psalm 137:1, 7-9 from the King James Bible
  • "I know Daniel doesn't approve, but destroying the White Legs is the only way to ensure the Sorrows can remain in Zion."
  • "Leading in battle became training, punishing, terrorizing. A series of small mistakes before a great fall. And I stayed in that darkness until after Hoover Dam."
  • "Stand up and look at what's come for you!"
  • "I don't know if you were close to the other members of your group, but you have my sympathy. I pray for the safety of all good people who come to Zion - even gentiles. But we can't expect God to do all the work."
  • "Show no quarter to the White Legs we come across. Make no mistake about why we are here. This is an extermination."
  • "We should have given you a better welcome on your first visit to Zion, but from what I hear, the White Legs beat us to it."
  • "I can always see it in my mind. The warmth and the heat. It will always be a part of me. But not today."
  • "You're a good neighbor to us. We all go through periods of darkness. In such times, we can turn to the Lord, but it's good to have friends."
  • "We warned you at Syracuse, and you persisted. You took advantage of us at New Canaan to drive us out, and like the dogs of Caesar you are, you followed us to Zion. And now you stand on holy ground, a temple to God's glory on Earth. But the only use for an animal in our temple is sacrifice!"
  • "We have more than enough food and medicine to offer. Good news is our most valuable commodity."

AppearancesEdit

Joshua Graham appears in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Honest Hearts. He is mentioned frequently, for example: in a loading screen in Dead Money and by Ulysses in Lonesome Road.

He was also to appear in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.

Behind the scenesEdit

Design
  • Joshua Graham was written by J.E. Sawyer in both Van Buren and Honest Hearts. His story is broadly based upon the parable of the Lost Son.[27]
  • Graham's self-described "baptism by flame" seems to be a dual reference to both his "death" at the hands of Caesar, and his symbolic rebirth by way of the Mormon laying of hands, which is also known as "baptism by fire."[28]
  • The inspiration for Graham came from a lot of sources, such as Paul the Apostle, Rodrigo Mendoza from The Mission, and Lawrence of Arabia. Also, the tribal markings on his armor were a reference to Rodrigo Mendoza as well.[29]
  • Seth McCaughey and Joshua Sawyer together created the gun maintenance animations. Sawyer brought in his Colt and served as reference for the animation.[30]
Trivia
  • A malpaís is a landform characterized by eroded rocks of volcanic origin in an arid environment. This describes many areas, but is strongly connected to the southwestern United States because of the Spanish settlers that gave the landform its name (malpais means "badland" in Spanish).
  • Joshua's class in the GECK editor is given as "Destroying Angel." The Destroying Angels were an alleged militant secret society in the early years of the Mormon Church who were dedicated to violently removing enemies of the church.
  • Joshua Graham states he and the Dead Horses use .45 Auto pistols because he actually descends from its creator's tribe, implied to be the Mormons. Furthermore, the real life reference to the .45 Auto pistol is the M1911 pistol, which was created by John Browning: a Mormon firearms maker who lived in Ogden, Utah close to where New Canaan would be in the Fallout universe.
  • Keith Szarabajka was almost passed on as the voice of Joshua Graham, because one of the designers involved in the first round of casting suggested removing him from the pool. According to Joshua Sawyer, Szarabajka's submission was "given on a cell phone on a windy day and he had a cold." However, Sawyer decided to keep Szarabajka in the running for the role of Graham, which he considers one of the best decisions he made on the project.[31]
Technical content
  • Due to technical limitations, Graham's appearance in the game differs from that on the cover of Honest Hearts. A dirty raider texture with an ashen skin color is used to simulate burns visible around his eyes, quite dissimilar to the melted flesh on the cover.
  • References remain in the game, pointing to a map above the cliffs of the Colorado river designated "MalpaisLegionCamp," indicating that such a location once existed in an earlier version of New Vegas but was later removed. Notably, a reference for Benny is found there, should he survive the events that took place at the Fort.

Developers' quotesEdit

Lanius' armor seemed inappropriate for Graham. Though it's unlikely that Joshua would have worn the same clothes then that he does when you meet him in Honest Hearts, there weren't a lot of other appropriate clothes for him and his outfit does make him stand out as particularly unusual - which, even among the Legion, he was.J. E. Sawyer, (when questioned on why Joshua Graham doesn't wear a traditional Legion's armor)
It's not as simple as being "set on fire".Icon sic After suffering a terrible failure, he was humiliated by his superior and the people he commanded. He was cast out and left for dead. His entire reason for living was gone. When your entire way of life is completely destroyed, it has a profound impact on how you view yourself and your place in the world. Because all momentum is lost, the experience causes you to evaluate and re-evaluate how you have reached this point -- and how to move forward. There are thousands, if not millions, of examples of soldiers in history who engaged in ruthless -- often cruel -- behavior in times of war only to either return to an "ordinary" civilized life later. Some of them have no problem with what they did, others repress their memories as much as they can, and still others suffer strong crises of conscience that force profound changes in them. As Graham describes, his path to becoming the Malpais Legate was made up of many small compromises that turned increasingly sinister and brutal. At first he thought he was making the best of a bad situation and doing what needed to be done, but in the end he and Caesar had built a society on a foundation of fear and brutality. Caesar had a more grand vision for where the Legion was going, but Joshua Graham was caught up in the day to day maintenance of a tribal army engaged in bleak and often monstrous behavior. It was not until he was removed from that environment that he was able to reflect on his past. He could have chosen to blame Caesar, but in the end he blamed himself. The only people he knew in the world who could possibly accept him were the New Canaanites, so that's where he headed.J.E. Sawyer on bethsoft.com forums May 18, 2011
Because re-hiring a voice actor (especially a high profile actor like John Doman) isn't always simple, and touching Caesar's dialogue in the core game -- well, it's already really complicated, and introducing elements that could affect the critical path is pretty dangerous, especially if it's accomplished through the DLC files (because we couldn't patch it).J. E. Sawyer, (when questioned on the possibility of including Graham-related dialogue with Caesar)
Speaking of Kurtz, was that character in any way a direct influence for Graham in Honest Hearts?

Only slightly. Graham and Caesar were in it together, in different ways. While Caesar never had a radical shift in his approach and ideology, Joshua Graham had a slow slide followed by a dramatic fall and "rebirth".Icon sic Joshua Graham was inspired by characters like Rodrigo Mendoza from The Mission and T.E. Lawrence.

That said, Honest Hearts has a lot to do with personal motivations and why being honest to yourself about them is important. In many ways, Caesar is dispassionate -- or at least less passionate than someone like Joshua Graham, or even Lanius. Caesar is an odd sort of philosopher; Joshua Graham is a zealot. Caesar is also hypocritical or at least "bends" his own rules when it suits him. Joshua has to lie to himself to rationalize what he does. He can't live with an internal contradiction.

They are also very different types of leaders. Caesar leads by telling people what to do and wowing (or terrorizing) them with the results. Joshua Graham leads by personally doing things that (typically) terrify both his allies and his enemies. As Joshua says himself, he's effectively a war chief of the Dead Horses. He's not the sort of guy you ask for opinions on how to repair a road or develop infrastructure.
J.E. Sawyer on Formspring December 30, 2011
Yes, that's always there for Crush the White Legs. Before you go in, Joshua tells you that you're about to engage in an extermination. Many of Daniel's fears have less to do with war and violence themselves and more to do with the path of warfare and the type of warfare in which Joshua engages. At some point, I think Daniel states that Joshua is (paraphrased) the poster child for the worst effects that a life of war can have on a person. Life on the warpath with Joshua Graham is more about slaughter than vigilance.
I had wanted to develop a religious conflict in an RPG for a while, one that wasn't presented as pro-religion vs. anti-religion. I didn't want to use a proxy/fictitious religion and I didn't want to use religion as the set-up for a series of jokes. My first idea for Honest Hearts was a direct conflict between Joshua and Daniel where Joshua was more like his pre-fall self, but I didn't think the characterization would be particularly interesting and I didn't think players would struggle much with the decision of whom to support. It didn't take long for me to change the main conflict to one about Joshua and Daniel vs. an external threat, with the player's choice revolving around which leader to support. I think we often present players with a choice between two bad solutions and we ask them to decide which one is least bad. With Honest Hearts, I wanted the player to decide which solution would produce the most good.

I wanted the player's first encounter with Joshua to be very reductive. In way, I wanted the player to be initially disappointed. They hear legends of this fearsome, terrible, demonic figure and when they first see him, he's doing the equivalent of putting his pants on one leg at a time: sitting at a table maintaining a stack of guns. Even internally, some people complained about his appearance. They wanted him to be huge and monstrous or they wanted his first encounter with the player to involve him brutally gunning down White Legs. I believed that for his character to feel right in the context of the story, he needed to be a man first and the monster later. But that expressed desire on the team made me ask for the graffiti players see on the way to see Joshua: an entire cliff face dominated by the image of Joshua with tiny White Leg corpses falling down below him. In the image, he's like Goya's Saturn, dwarfing and destroying everyone around him.

Presenting the conflict with Daniel posed some challenges because Daniel is not a living legend, i.e. he is even more of a normal man than Joshua is trying to be. Additionally, Mormonism is not a pacifistic religion (and its soteriology does not depend on pacifism), so the conflict could not reasonably by framed around violence vs. non-violence even in the post-apocalyptic version followed by the New Canaanites. Daniel's concern was about larger issues than fighting or not-fighting; he was concerned that Joshua's lapsed nature would cause a whirlwind of warfare that would pull everyone far away New Canaanite traditions to the point where religion was virtually abandoned in favor of a war cult surrounding Joshua.

I had expected that most people would support Joshua, in part because of Joshua as a character but also because of the nature of gameplay in Fallout (i.e., violence is almost always a solution). I did not expect that the Survivalist's logs (written by John Gonzalez) would push so many more people toward supporting Joshua. I think it's an interesting example of players finding their own connections between the two stories and making an emotional connection that pushes them in a particular direction.
J.E. Sawyer
I didn't sit down and think "gonna make this dude a Greek tragic hero".Icon sic I knew that Joshua had to be in an unresolved state, moved on from his life with the Legion but in a state of denial about his current motives. Joshua's struggle is about what burns inside him -- light that illuminates or fire that consumes.J.E. Sawyer
I think it's worth noting that in even Van Buren's documents, a lot of the references to the Hanged Man's "evil" refers to past acts. In VB, he was seemingly a man without purpose. While his characterization by others and his tendency to laugh off/ignore attempts by others to control him could have been interesting, it really ended at "nasty guy who says and does creepy stuff and is a badass".Icon sic There were specific instances (such as at New Canaan) where he would specifically avoid conflict and showed some additional depth, but he effectively had no character arc within the story.

Personally, I think the "wow so crazy" type characters aren't particularly interesting or insightful because they only exist in pure fantasy and, as such, can't really be related to. I think it's important for characters who are influencing player opinions to be more-or-less human. If you can't put yourself in the character's shoes, it's hard to empathize with him or her.

Joshua was inspired by a lot of different characters and things. The apostle Paul, Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert DeNiro's character from Roland Joffé's "The Mission"), T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia, and others. His outfit was designed to feature body armor but look somewhat "old west"/preacher in style -- hence the low-collar white shirt, sleeve garter, and the cut of the ballistic vest. The rattlesnake skin on his belt, shoes, and gun are symbolic but also intended to reflect that "western" feeling. The stitched patterns in his shirt were supposed to be tribal markings from the Dead Horses and were inspired by a scene from The Mission where Mendoza receives patterned body paint from the Guarani. I remembered a white dress from PJ Harvey's White Chalk tour where she had lyrics stitched into the cloth in black thread and I just put the two ideas together.
J.E. Sawyer, Formspring response from May 27, 2011

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Mormons begin Missionary work from 19 to 26, assuming Graham's was of that age range in 2246
  2. The Courier: "Were you always with the New Canaanites?"
    Joshua Graham: "I was born in Ogden, what people came to call New Canaan. Things were more peaceful when I was growing up. When I was a young man, I went out into the world to do missionary work as all New Canaanites do. I traveled along the Long 15 and followed 89 south into Arizona. Along the way, I met two men from a group called the Followers of the Apocalypse. Edward Sallow and Bill Calhoun. They came to teach the tribes. Calhoun was a good man. Edward was the one who got us into trouble down the road."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  3. The Courier: "Was one of those men Caesar?"
    Joshua Graham: "No, not then. Back then he was just Edward. Smart man. Young, but we all were. We thought we could hike into the Grand Canyon and talk to Blackfoots. We did, and the Blackfoots were friendly enough at first, but eventually... I've thought back to that day so many times. I must have mistranslated. Something must have been mixed up, because the Blackfoots decided we weren't going to leave. The rest is history, assuming Edward hasn't changed it."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  4. The Courier: "Why would learning dialects be a waste of time?"
    Caesar: "If you think it's worthwhile to make smart people learn how to talk like backward savages, you're a Follower of the Apocalypse... or an idiot. Anyway, we met up with a Mormon missionary who already knew a bunch of dialects - Joshua Graham. He was supposed to teach me. But before that went too far, the Blackfoot tribe captured us, to hold us for ransom. They were a backward bunch. But the real problem was, they didn't know how to fight."
    (Caesar's dialogue)
  5. The Courier: "What was wrong with the Blackfoot?"
    Caesar: "The Blackfoot were at war with seven other tribes, each just as pissant as they were. But outnumbered like that, they weren't going to last long. It's one thing to be taken hostage, another to be lashed to a sinking ship. So over Calhoun's objections, I decided to take certain steps."
    The Courier: "What steps did you take?"
    Caesar: "I taught them how to use the guns they already had - how to strip and clean them, how to breathe when pulling a trigger, how to reload ammunition. They looked at me like I was some kind of a sorcerer. So I taught them how to make explosives, and started drilling them on small unit tactics. If there's anything I learned as a Follower of the Apocalypse, it's that there's a lot of good information in old books."
    (Caesar's dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "How did you end up as Caesar's legate?"
    Joshua Graham: "This way lies the path to hell. Edw- Caesar needed me to translate. Translation became giving orders. Giving orders became leading in battle. Leading in battle became training, punishing, terrorizing. A series of small mistakes before a great fall. And I stayed in that darkness until after Hoover Dam. After I failed Caesar and he had me burned alive, thrown into the Grand Canyon."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  7. The Courier: "What happened to the tribes?"
    Caesar: "The Kaibabs joined me, and the Fredonians after that - all the pissant tribes, with names that should be forgotten. I knew from the start I'd need to eradicate this plague of tribal identities, replacing them with a monolithic culture, a uniform identity. So that's what I did, once my confederation of tribes was large enough. I crowned myself Caesar and created a single Great Tribe - my Legion. I sent Calhoun, the Follower captured with me, back West with a message that I should not be interfered with. Joshua Graham, the Mormon interpreter, stayed with me and served as my first Legatus."
    (Caesar's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "And since forming the Legion, all you've done is conquer other tribes?"
    Caesar: "That's right. Decades of warfare, absorbing lesser tribes, gathering power. Forging the dross into a vast, razor-sharp scythe. My Legion's expansion has never ceased. Much of the Utah and Colorado, and all of Arizona and New Mexico, are mine. We have cities of our own, but nothing compared to Vegas. Finally, my Legion will have its Rome."
    (Caesar's dialogue)
  9. The Courier: "He must have a weakness."
    Ulysses: "His strength lies in his title - and it is his weakness. He will not fight a losing battle and destroy what he represents. Put the idea of loss in him. Convince him the Bear will not be the twentieth tribe beneath his heel, it will make him pause like nothing on earth. You do not need to convince him alone. Draw upon history. The past of other Legates are not filled with victories. Remind Lanius of this."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  10. The Courier: "So that was the end of Graham?"
    Hanlon: "It's not that clear cut. You have to understand, Graham was the toughest son of a gun anyone around these parts had ever seen. Before Hoover, we had five kill reports on Graham from rangers and 1st Recon sharpshooters who tried to take him out. Some folks think he's still alive, call him the Burned Man."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  11. The Courier: "So what happened at Hoover Dam and Boulder City?"
    Hanlon: "In big battles, Caesar deploys his legionaries in waves. Recruits up front, prime soldiers behind the recruits, old guard bringing up the rear. Opponents wear themselves out dealing with the first two waves, if they survive that long. When the veterans step up, there's not much fight left. Caesar can adapt, though, and when required, he can run any mix of legionaries as skirmishers and still retain order in the ranks. Joshua Graham, Caesar's old legate, he's wasn't so flexible. When the Legion attacked Hoover Dam, General Oliver ordered his troopers back to the middle ground just after first contact. Graham pushed all of the legionaries onto the dam, filling the east side with recruits up front and veterans in the back, by the book. But once they were in, they were stuck there. Oliver's troopers were entrenched and wouldn't give a foot. That's when we ordered the rangers and 1st recon sharpshooters to start picking off veteran legion officers from a high ridge west of the dam. That only lasted about a minute before Graham ordered the back ranks to push through to the front and rush the ridge. Caused total chaos among the younger legionaries, and Oliver's troopers fell back to the side walkways and stayed out of the veterans' way. By the time the veterans got to the ridge, we were already in Boulder City. They followed us down there, but we were out before they realized what was happening. We had packed the old city with C4 and dynamite. Crude, but it did the job. Those who didn't die in the blast were in no position to mount a defense. The ones left on the dam didn't know what to do. The troopers routed them. Graham pulled the remaining legionaries back, but the battle was over. He went south, back to the Grand Canyon, back to Caesar. And that was the last we saw or heard from Joshua Graham."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  12. See First Battle of Hoover Dam for details and sources.
  13. The Courier: "What happened to Graham after Hoover Dam?"
    Hanlon: "Losing the dam was the worst defeat the Legion ever suffered. Graham had been with Caesar since the beginning, but he had to set an example. The praetorians covered Graham in pitch, lit him on fire, and down into the Grand Canyon he went."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  14. The Courier: "Are you in much pain? Is there anything I can do to help?"
    Joshua Graham: "[SUCCEEDED] You are kind to offer, but no, there's nothing you can do. We don't use chems, but I learned long ago that I'm immune to their effects. It never stops burning. My skin. Every day, I have to unwind the bandages and replace them with fresh ones. Exposing my body to the air is like living through it again. But it's better to be clean than comfortable."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  15. The Courier: "How did you survive?"
    Joshua Graham: "I survived because the fire inside burned brighter than the fire around me. I fell down into that dark chasm, but the flame burned on and on. The next morning, I woke up and crawled out of the northern edge of the Grand Canyon, that cursed place. It took me three months to reach New Canaan. It was as though the prodigal son had returned. They welcomed me like I had never left, never done anything to shame them. The fire that had kept me alive was love. Their love. God's love. I will never be able to repay the debt I owe to them, but I must try."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  16. The Courier: "Tell me about the Burned Man."
    Vulpes Inculta: "Ah, yes - we are forbidden from speaking his true name. He was a shaman of some kind before he met Caesar, a holy man from out of the Utah. The Burned Man proved dangerous, unpredictable, and impossible to kill. He helped Caesar form the Legion but almost led it to destruction."
    (Vulpes Inculta's dialogue)
  17. Ulysses: "Caesar had him burned and cast into the earth, into the largest canyon you've ever seen. Watched the flames trail all the way to the bottom. Somehow Joshua walked away from that, went beyond Caesar's gaze. His footsteps trailing fire, walking from one hell - maybe to another. When one is ruined like Graham was... sometimes home is the only place left. If so, he went to New Canaan, Caesar's anger written on him like a book. Caesar's orders to the Frumentarii were to watch for him, find Graham. Kill him. Didn't try. Could've, no good would have come of it. Graham earned his life, and his nature... it'll kill him more surely than any blade of the Legion. So if you've heard word of it or seen sign of him, let it keep. Let his history keep."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  18. The Courier: "I'm guessing you don't like Caesar very much."
    Joshua Graham: "Love the sinner, hate the sin. With Caesar, it's often very difficult to see through all of that sin to the person inside. I can say that we were both lucky that NCR's supply lines and land routes north of Mojave Outpost were destroyed before the Battle of Hoover Dam. Something bad happened near Death Valley, at a place called the Divide. NCR couldn't cut across anymore and it slowed down their reinforcements. Terrible storms ripped entire companies apart before they even got to Nevada soil. The aftermath of Hoover Dam could have been even worse for Caesar."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  19. Joshua Graham: "We should have given you a better welcome on your first visit to Zion, but from what I hear, the White Legs beat us to it. White Legs seem to be the only visitors we have these days, and I wouldn't have expected anyone from the Mojave to come looking for us. And you're a courier, no less. Not the one I was expecting, but I suppose he wouldn't have come with a caravan. I don't know if you were close to the other members of your group, but you have my sympathy. I pray for the safety of all good people who come to Zion, even Gentiles, but we can't expect God to do all the work."
    The Courier: "What did you say about a courier? Who were you expecting?"
    Joshua Graham: "Caesar would never admit this openly, but he knows that I'm alive. I've killed enough of his frumentarii and assassins that have come looking. I've heard one of them travels the Mojave as a courier. Most of Caesar's agents meet a fitting end in NCR territory, but maybe this one survived."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  20. The Courier: "I came here with the Happy Trails Caravan Company to make contact with the New Canaanites."
    Joshua Graham: "Happy Trails. I remember. They were good friends. I have bad news for your employers. New Canaan was destroyed, its citizens scattered. All because of the White Legs. And Caesar, of course. The White Legs want to join the Legion. Caesar's rite of passage is the destruction of the New Canaanites, almost assuredly because of me. The good news is that we can help you find your way back. Daniel, one of the other New Canaanites, has made many maps of the region. The bad news is that we can't help you right now. Not with everything that's going on."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  21. The Courier: "Well, I'm guessing you're pretty mad about something."
    Joshua Graham: "The White Legs didn't just force my people out of New Canaan. They butchered everyone who wasn't fast enough to get away. The elderly, the ill, children. Those who stopped to help the wounded. It made no difference to them. They can't be reasoned with, the White Legs. Daniel believes that if we leave, if the Sorrows leave, the White Legs will stop. He doesn't understand what this kind of tribe is like."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  22. >The Courier: "This conversation just got pretty dark. What was that about happy... dashing the little ones?"
    Joshua Graham: "Happy are those who do the work of the Lord. Zion belongs to God and the people of God. It is a natural temple and monument to his glory. When our Lord entered the temple and found it polluted by money-changers and beasts, did he ask them to leave? Did he cry? Did he simply walk away? No. He drove them out. It is one thing to forgive a slap across my cheek, but an insult to the Lord requires... no, it demands correction."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  23. See below for developer citations.
  24. Honest Hearts endings
  25. compare New Canaan folks negative reaction, when Alexandra entered the town
  26. Burham Springs design document
  27. WHAT? After all he has been through and all the bad things he has done and Joshua Graham still claims to be a christian? | Formspring:
    JESawyer 11 May 11: <http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15%3A11-32&version=NIV>
  28. Fire and the Holy Ghost - Ensign June 1995
  29. This is a two parter. 1. Why did you decide to make Joshua Graham a good character instead of an evil character like in Van Buren? 2. Where did the inspiration of the Joshua Graham character come from? Formspring:
    JESawyer 27 May 11: I think it's worth noting that in even Van Buren's documents, a lot of the references to the Hanged Man's "evil" refers to past acts. In VB, he was seemingly a man without purpose. While his characterization by others and his tendency to laugh off/ignore attempts by others to control him could have been interesting, it really ended at "nasty guy who says and does creepy stuff and is a badass".Icon sic There were specific instances (such as at New Canaan) where he would specifically avoid conflict and showed some additional depth, but he effectively had no character arc within the story.
    Personally, I think the "wow so crazy" type characters aren't particularly interesting or insightful because they only exist in pure fantasy and, as such, can't really be related to. I think it's important for characters who are influencing player opinions to be more-or-less human. If you can't put yourself in the character's shoes, it's hard to empathize with him or her.
    Joshua was inspired by a lot of different characters and things. The apostle Paul, Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert DeNiro's character from Roland Joffé's "The Mission"), T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia, and others. His outfit was designed to feature body armor but look somewhat "old west"/preacher in style -- hence the low-collar white shirt, sleeve garter, and the cut of the ballistic vest. The rattlesnake skin on his belt, shoes, and gun are symbolic but also intended to reflect that "western" feeling. The stitched patterns in his shirt were supposed to be tribal markings from the Dead Horses and were inspired by a scene from The Mission where Mendoza receives patterned body paint from the Guarani. I remembered a white dress from PJ Harvey's White Chalk tour where she had lyrics stitched into the cloth in black thread and I just put the two ideas together.
  30. J.E. Sawyer, Formspring response from June 27, 2012: "Who did that gun inspection animation for Joshua Graham? That looked awesome and was pretty impressive, a lot of games don't have hand animations that good."
    "Seth McCaughey. I brought in my (unloaded, in case it needs to be said) Colt and went through the process with him, then he went buck wild. Seth did a lot of the weapon reload animations in F:NV and the DLCs. He also came up with the idea of the SMMG in Lonesome Road and was the creator of the hidden Gojira."
  31. Joshua Sawyer on Tumblr
CaesarLegionSymbol
Caesar&#039;sLegionVexillum
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