“These new inhabitants... not natives... most of them. Came with duty, purpose... ready to kill each other. The Divide was stronger. Left marks on them, too. Not Bear, not Bull - now... radiation's marked them, made them equal in history's eyes.”— Ulysses
Marked men are those with a unique form of pseudo-ghoulification seen only in the Divide and are only kept alive and in agony from the residual radiation in the Divide, in 2281.
Marked men are the remnants of New California Republic soldiers and Legion stationed at the Divide. The violent storms caused by the Courier's delivery of the Navarro package to the Divide skinned them alive while the intense radiation caused them to undergo a type of ghoulification. This strangely kept them alive, yet in excruciating pain from their flayed flesh. Such injuries and radiation would have killed ordinary ghouls. The marked men are only kept alive by the radiation of the Divide, which now heals their bodies. Rumors of Marked men spread throughout the west coast wasteland similar to the legends of the Sierra Madre and Big Empty.
Despite belonging to completely different factions with opposing ideologies when they were humans, the pain united the men into a single group. According to Ulysses, "radiation's marked them, made them equal in history's eyes." Their hate for both the NCR and Legion's abandonment was turned against the Divide and its intruders. Some former legionaries crafted crude versions of Legate Lanius' helmet, constructed from Divide metal, not with care and strength, but with hate, keeping them anchored. Others shaped crude blades like distant mirrors of their new and unknown Legate, like a symbol they can hold on to, while the Divide tears them. The NCR, on the other hand, stuck to their guns; ranged death from afar being their own symbol. They continue to wear old NCR and Legion armor that has been damaged over time and then patched together with road signs, license plates and other scrap metal.
Marked men are a unique subtype of ghoul with a fiery red tone due to their brutal environment; ghoulification made their flesh weak and fragile, but it was the storms that peeled their skin off, leaving behind only muscle. According to Ulysses, the radiation of the Divide may be the only thing keeping them alive. They congregate in squads and small camps of around four marked men and wear ramshackle faction armor. They appear to have resorted to cannibalism to survive within the Divide.
Marked men level with the player, have a high amount of health for humanoid opponents, and are moderately protected by the tattered armor they wear (albeit far less than properly maintained regular versions of their armor). They are overall on par with the White Legs tribals of Zion Canyon, and the lobotomites of the Big MT, in terms of health and armor.
They carry a variety of powerful melee and ranged weapons, and at higher levels (above level 40) have the unique attribute of being the only faction that almost universally uses non-standard ammunition for their weapons (i.e. slugs and armor-piercing rounds), increasing their combat proficiency against well-protected targets. Additionally, many marked men make simultaneous use of both firearms and grenades. At times, they can be found using Stealth Boys, making them harder to detect.
When near sources of radiation, they regenerate health rapidly, even more so than ordinary ghouls. However, they tend to be few in numbers, and it is rare to find more than a dozen in any particular location, unless the player is a high level.
Irradiated heavy troopers are the ghoulified remnants of NCR heavy troopers stationed at the Long 15 outpost. After the Courier launched the nuclear missiles from the Divide at the outpost, the radiation left behind turned them into ghouls, leaving them hostile to all others. They look like regular NCR heavy troopers with the added ability of regenerating health while irradiated.
The marked men that appear during the final battle will explode after being killed, with an explosive effect identical to that of a plasma grenade. This was done to prevent lag from too many corpses being in one area. It is still possible for it to lag by killing multiple marked men at close range with weapons like the shoulder mounted machine gun or frag grenades.
The marked men are some of the few enemies in the game that will use special ammunition against the Courier.
If affiliated with the NCR, the player can comment to Ulysses that many of the marked men appear to be NCR special forces (more specifically, rangers or other special combat teams). A Legion affiliated player can do the same, noting that several marked men were Legion scouts, assassins or Frumentarii.
Former NCR marked men seem to have lost their dogtags.
Although female NCR troopers appear in abundance in the Mojave, there is no female variant of NCR marked men in The Divide or even the Long 15.
An additional, unused variant of the irradiated heavy trooper exists within the resources of Lonesome Road. Also called "irradiated heavy trooper", this version differs primarily in that it uses the default SPECIAL statistics for NCR troopers - 5 for all statistics. It also is equipped with a Minigun loaded with 5mm AP rounds, rather than the random weapon selection found in the standard version. Internally this version has the Editor ID NVDLC04NukeNCRColonel, indicating that this may have been an early stand-in for Colonel Royez.
↑The Courier: "[NCR] Those bodies in the silo were NCR soldiers... some special forces." Ulysses: "Might have been. Once. To the Divide they came... in the Divide, they rest." The Courier: "[Legion] The dead in the silo, some were Legion Frumentarii, scouts. Assassins." Ulysses: "Might have been. Once. To the Divide they came... in the Divide, they rest." (Ulysses' dialogue)
↑The Courier: "I've never seen corpses mutilated like that." Ulysses: "Even as the fires here burned them from within... the winds of the Divide tore their skin, exposed them... screaming... to the sky. And just as the Divide tears at them, so they tear at each other, for sport - like some tribal scarification. Falling back to their history, maybe.No matter what they suffer...the radiation, fire of the Divide, sustains them. Makes them stronger." (Ulysses' dialogue)
↑ 3.03.1The Courier: "Radiation may keep them alive in areas so physically punishing, it would kill others - even ghouls." The Courier: "If they've become ghouls, the radiation would strengthen them. Heal their wounds - not the scars." Ulysses: "[SUCCEEDED] There's truth in your words, in what I've seen of their tactics, movements - recovery. Those wounds - they couldn't live otherwise. The Divide winds have torn the skin from many of them - may be the radiation is the only thing keeping them walking. Make camp near silos... warheads. No way to cleanse the radiation - makes them hard to kill there, have to draw them out." (Ulysses' dialogue)
↑The Courier: "Some of the flayed Hopeville soldiers looked like NCR... but fought beside others in Legion armor." Ulysses: "Pain makes for strange allies... the hate the Bear and Bull shared across the battlefield, now turned against the Divide. Few survived... intact. Many NCR were already here when the destruction happened. Keeping the route East open, in fear of Caesar. Fear of the Legion." (Ulysses' dialogue)
↑The Courier: "Inhabitants? It doesn't look like anyone's alive down there." Ulysses: "These new inhabitants... not natives... most of them. Came with duty, purpose... ready to kill each other. The Divide was stronger.Left marks on them, too. Not Bear, not Bull - now... radiation's marked them, made them equal in history's eyes. As vicious as the storms are, these shadows of Legion, of NCR - silhouettes of things to come." (Ulysses' dialogue)
↑The Courier: "Those Marked Men in Hopeville - some had strange masks and blades I'd never seen before." Ulysses: "They bear false versions of Legate Lanius' mask, the one Caesar fashioned for him. Thought it was an insult at first.... know better now. It's shaped from Divide metal, not with care and strength, but with hate. Keeps them anchored. Crude, effective - like the blades they carry, distant mirrors of their Legate. A symbol they can hold on to - while the Divide tears at them." (Ulysses' dialogue)
↑The Courier: "Other Marked Men had NCR gear - and they weren't carrying masks or blades." Ulysses: "For the two-headed Bear... NCR... they don't have symbols in the same way Legion does. They revere their mines and explosives, guns... that is their religion - death from afar, take pride in it." (Ulysses' dialogue)
↑The Courier: "[NCR] Those soldiers in Hopeville... were once NCR, I'm sure of it. Why were they with the Legion?" Ulysses: "You see true. Not scavengers... it's what they wore before this all happened." (Ulysses' dialogue)
↑Various humanoid mutilated body parts are found around their campfires, and it is more likely they belong to marked men, who are more abundant that normal humans in the Divide.