Have you come to Nelson seeking your death, profligate?Unnamed Legion Explorer guarding Nelson

Nelson is a settlement in the Mojave Wasteland in 2281. Recently, the town was occupied by Caesar's Legion following the Battle of Nelson. It is located southwest of Camp Forlorn Hope and east of Novac.



Nelson's history dates back to the 18th century and the Spanish discovery of gold in the Eldorado Canyon. The future Nelson was at the heart of the biggest mining boom in Nevada's history when gold and silver were discovered around the town. Its meteoric rise was assisted by a corresponding one in crime, especially the notorious Techatticup Mine in the middle of the canyon. Ownership, management, and labor conflicts led to a spate of wanton killings, made worse by the town's remote location and popularity during the dark years of the American Civil War, when it attracted deserters from both the Union and the Confederacy, hoping to elude authorities. It received its name in 1897, after a camp leader killed by a renegade native American. By the middle of the 20th century the mining activities petered out, turning Nelson into a virtual ghost town.[1]

As such, the Great War barely touched it or the people living in Nelson. However, in the decades after the Great War, the closed mines were reopened by enterprising miners in order to exploit what remained of gold, silver, copper, and lead. What would have escaped the notice of pre-War corporations was more than enough for the wastelanders.[2]

NCR occupationEdit

Main article: Battle of Nelson

In 2281, the New California Republic occupied the town and established a military camp. The area was of high value due to its strategic location, between Camp Forlorn Hope and Camp Searchlight, both for logistics planning and to plug the between the bases and cover the Colorado.[3][4] Shortly after the NCR occupation, before the troopers managed to settle in, the Legion launched an attack. Two contubernia, led by Decanus Dead Sea and seized Nelson.[5] With Searchlight recently destroyed and Camp Forlorn Hope stretched thin, no counter-attack materialized. The town has remained under Legion control ever since.[6]

Under orders from Caesar to demoralize troops in the area,[7] Dead Sea has ordered the execution of captured NCR troopers by hacking them apart, forcing them to jump off the cliff overlooking the river, and crucifying the remaining three. All within sight of surrounding NCR forces.[8] To maintain pressure after taking Nelson, Dead Sea has launched raids against Camp Forlorn Hope to the north.[7]


Nelson rests on a mesa on the western side of the Eldorado Canyon, enclosed by what remains of State Route 165. The mining camp and town itself is enclosed by a chainlink fence and surrounded by bunkers made from sandbags. The tallest point in Nelson lies up a hill on the northern edge of town where Legion soldiers monitor the area from an overlook. The NCR has established a roadblock on the road leading to Nelson. The town itself is centered around an open-air courtyard, now containing three crucified NCR troopers.

Surviving houses line the perimeter, used for a variety of purposes, including storage, an armory, mess hall, and housing. A small fortified position on the terrace below the town overlooks the Colorado River, with three graves nearby. A pair of barracks face the center of town. The barracks to the west contain the bodies of two NCR troopers and the eastern barracks contain another deceased NCR trooper as well as two recruit legionaries and their leader, Dead Sea.

All of the inhabitants have been culled by Dead Sea and his legionaries, either hacked apart or forced to jump off the cliffs. As such, the only people who remain in the area are the aforementioned crucified troopers and legionaries. A squad of three NCR trooper with caravan shotguns will occasionally stage a raid at the town, but be easily repulsed.

Notable lootEdit

Related questsEdit


  • Nelson will periodically be attacked by a squad of three NCR troopers armed with caravan shotguns from Camp Forlorn Hope. Unless the player character has already killed most of the Nelson guards, the legionaries will be able to easily repulse the attack. This may trigger when visiting Nelson after starting the Restoring Hope quest.
  • A generator can be found near the barracks that Dead Sea resides in. Turning it off will turn off the lights on the telephone poles. This can most easily be seen at night.
  • The surrounding mountains make the garrison in Nelson very susceptible to sniper fire. A player character with a silenced sniper rifle and decent Guns and Sneak skills can easily take out the entire camp without direct confrontation.
  • If the Courier manages to annihilate all the legionaries in Nelson, the soldiers at Camp Forlorn Hope will talk about the player character freeing Nelson.
  • After Nelson has been liberated from the Legion, the NCR guards there will have the same dialogue as the troopers in Camp Forlorn Hope.
  • Killing Dead Sea silently and talking to the legionaries outside they may cause them to comment that Nelson was slaughtered to the last man even though they're still alive.


Nelson appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Nelson is located in the same geographical area as the real world town of Nelson, Nevada.
  • Megan Parks was responsible for layout, prop placement, decoration, terrain shaping, and vistas in this location.[9]
Icon cut contentThe following is based on Fallout: New Vegas cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
  • As with Camp Forlorn Hope, there is cut content at Nelson. Firstly, there are several markers around the central campfire, as with Forlorn Hope. These control the enabling/disabling of various groups of NPCs. Of particular interest is VNelsonDeadTroopersMarker, which enables several dead NCR troopers in the area (most of which are placed on top of land mines). This is unused in the final game and the dead troops are never seen (despite the Legion boasting of recently massacring them).
  • There is also a second marker called VNelsonExtraNPCMarker that enables a great number of extra Legion NPCs. It is unclear why these were left disabled, other than either to improve frame rate or fix memory problems on consoles. Looking at the game's code, these NPCs are supposed to be disabled after talking to Dead Sea in certain situations. His dialogue script individually disables some of the NPCs tied to these markers. However, this does not actually work, as NPCs with enable states tied to other objects can only be enabled/disabled if the parent object is itself enabled/disabled.
Icon cut contentEnd of information based on Fallout: New Vegas cut content.


  • Playstation 3Icon ps3 Xbox 360Icon xbox360 After the NCR has spawned and the Legionaries are gone, there may be 3 Legionaries running into each other in front of the campfire. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Icon ps3 When completing a quest for Dead Sea, sometimes when leaving Nelson, near the guard tower facing Forlorn Hope, the Legion guards may attack the player character regardless of reputation. Killing them results in a loss of reputation. If this occurs, reload a save, circumventing the Legion soldiers. [verified]
  • PCIcon pc Playstation 3Icon ps3 Instead of three NCR troopers attacking Nelson, a group of roughly twelve may attack. They will kill any Legion soldiers or mongrels outside, and then stand in a circle in the center of the town. [verified]
  • PCIcon pc Sometimes the NCR soldiers that are "tied up" are simply standing in front of the crosses. They appear to be "untied" but still need to be untied.[verified]



  1. Real-world history of Nelson, NV
  2. Rose of Sharon Cassidy: "Guess the miners got fucked."
    "Where's the mine from here?"
    "If this place got hit, Novac's next."
    (Rose of Sharon Cassidy's dialogue) Note: VCassLocationNelson
  3. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition pp. 417-418: "[6.02] Camp Forlorn Hope
    After NCR captured Hoover Dam, it took them a while to fully reinforce the river to the south. The first camp that was established was Camp Forlorn Hope; an improvised mess of tin shacks, salvaged rubble from Boulder City, tents, and lots of sandbags, it is the most pathetic-looking of all NCR's camps, but the one that sees the most action. It only exists at all because of the natural spring there (in fact the camp is named for the spring). Recently, Caesar's Legion captured NCR's logistical/planning forces in the ruins of the small, ruined town of Nelson, a disaster that has disrupted Forlorn's Hopes attempts to patrol the western coast of the river.
    Graveyard of No Hope
    A nickname some in the camp whisper about the collection of graves of the fallen, on a two-tiered promontory behind the shacks, overlooking the Colorado River. Shoot the Bloatflies in the area for sport. Due to the height disadvantage, attack from here only if you plan to be stealthy."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  4. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition pp. 418-419: "[6.06] Nelson
    Nelson was a second NCR outpost, as the Republic slowly gained ground along the Colorado River to stem the tide of the Legion's advancement across Arizona. But Caesar struck back, razing Nelson, and capturing any NCR troopers that weren't executed or shot, and crucified them as an example of barbarism; to crush the NCR morale."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  5. The Courier: "Tell me about Nelson."
    Hanlon: "Nelson was barely set up. We had a big stretch of unprotected land between Forlorn Hope and Searchlight, and Nelson was the solution. A decanus named Dead Sea took the place and caused a lot of damage."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "What happened here?"
    Milo: "Troopers tried moving down from Forlorn Hope because we got this big gap between there and Searchlight. Turns out we were spread too thin. We took our sweet ass time setting up in Nelson and the Legion managed to hop over the Colorado and attack before things were settled."
    (Milo's dialogue)
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Courier: "Why haven't you attacked the enemy?"
    Dead Sea: "I have attacked the enemy. I led the assault on Nelson with two contubernia against twice our number. It is Caesar's wish that we hold this position. Our mere presence this side of the Colorado humiliates and demoralizes the enemy."
    (Dead Sea's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "You're demoralizing the enemy by leaving them alone?"
    Dead Sea: "I do not question Caesar's will! I do not second-guess! I butchered this town. Those who weren't hacked limb from limb were forced to throw themselves from the cliffs. Three more, I have just crucified. All this, in full view of the enemy's spotters to the north. Yes, our presence here demoralizes the enemy."
    (Dead Sea's dialogue)
  9. Megan Parks' portfolio
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+