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There is an expression in the Wasteland: 'Old World Blues'. It refers to those so obsessed with the past they can't see the present, much less the future, for what it is.— Doctor Mobius and Doctor Klein, Old World Blues

Old World Blues is the third add-on for Fallout: New Vegas, developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda Softworks.


In the years before the Great War, Big Mountain had been the home to the brightest minds of the 21st century. Scientists of vision were drawn to the facility to tackle the greatest technological challenges of the era. They sought to create a new world, fueled by technology, for the benefit of all mankind.

Sonic emitters, space age alloys, DNA hybridization, force field particle research, Auto-Doc advances in cranial, cardiac, and trauma surgery... the hopes and dreams of a century became realities in the electronic forges of Big Mountain.

The nucleus of this research was the Dome, a huge stone facility that held the labs of every science known to man. It was a think tank where no problem could not be solved, where no question could not be answered.

The Great War brought a new energy to Big Mountain and its scientists. Although sheltered from the frontlines, the scientists waged their own war, fighting their battles at the atomic level. Equations and calculations marched endlessly across chalkboards and computer terminals toward one solution: Winning the war.

For years, the minds and computers of Big Mountain were a blaze of trajectories, weapon schematics, and nuclear theories. The problems began to outpace the solutions, first geometrically, then exponentially. As the war escalated, so did the questions.

On the night of October 23rd, 2077, the scientists received an answer that put all their questions to rest. In the aftermath, Big Mountain's silent experiments went to sleep, their creators slowly dying in the new world that had been left behind.

And the great stone in the middle of the Big Empty lay untouched, filled with countless technological wonders... Wonders that, in the end, had been answers to the wrong question.
Mobius, Old World Blues Intro


In Old World Blues, the Courier is abducted and experimented upon by the Think Tank, a group of pre-War scientists that have replaced their aging bodies with machines. Learning that the Think Tank has removed and subsequently lost the Courier's brain, the Courier aids the Think Tank scientists in fighting Dr. Mobius, the rogue scientist currently in possession of their missing brain. Exploring the Big MT facility, the Courier rediscovers lost technology and fights off lobotomites, robo-scorpions, and more.

Finally meeting Dr. Mobius, the Courier learns that he is not actually evil, but has messed with the Think Tank's memories and constantly threatens them in order to keep them from experimenting on the entire wasteland. By stealing the Courier's brain, Dr. Mobius was preventing the Think Tank from using the brain's unique properties to move their own brains into host bodies and escape the crater. After choosing what to do with Mobius and reacquiring their brain, the Courier returns to the Think Tank and can choose to either convince them to stay in Big MT or to kill them.



Robots and computers[]



Armor and clothing[]


Schematics & recipes[]


Weapon mods[]

Other items[]

World objects[]


This section is transcluded from Fallout: New Vegas locations. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.


The XP that is rewarded for quests are based on the player character's level upon the quest's completion. The total experience points available for the main storyline quests is anywhere between 3,000 (for levels 1-4) to 22,000 (for levels 45-50). The experience points gained from the side quests range from 75 to 500 per quest.

This section is transcluded from Fallout: New Vegas quests. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.
Icon Name Location(s) Given by Reward Form ID Editor ID
Main quests
Icon gray x
Midnight Science Fiction Feature! Mojave Drive-in Mysterious broadcast Variable XP xx002FCA NVDLC03MQ00
Icon gray x
Welcome to the Big Empty The Sink Self None xx002FCB NVDLC03MQ01
Icon gray x
X-2: Strange Transmissions! The Think Tank Doctor Klein Variable XP xx002FCD NVDLC03MQ02
X-8: High School Horror! The Think Tank Doctor Klein Variable XP xx002FCE NVDLC03MQ03
X-13: Attack of the Infiltrator! The Think Tank Doctor Klein Variable XP xx002FCF NVDLC03MQ04
Old World Blues Big MT Doctor Klein Add-on completion, Big Mountain Transportalponder! xx002FCC NVDLC03MQ05
Side quests
Icon gray x
A Brain's Best Friend The Think Tank Doctor Borous Variable XP xx014BF8 NVDLC03ThinkTankDoctorBorous
All My Friends Have Off Switches The Sink Sink Central Intelligence Unit Various The Sink services xx0112E3 NVDLC03HQBuddy
Icon gray x
Coming Out of Her Shell The Think Tank Doctor Dala Various ammunition once per day xx014C2C NVDLC03ThinkTankDoctorDala
Icon gray x
Field Research The Sink The Sink Various sink services xx0112D6 NVDLC03HQBuddySamples
Icon gray x
He Came... And Went The Think Tank Doctor Dala Variable XP xx014C2D NVDLC03ThinkTankDoctorKlein
Icon gray x
Influencing People The Sink The Sink Various sink services xx0112E5 NVDLC03HQBuddyUpgrade
Icon gray x
On the Same Wavelength The Think Tank Doctor 8 Variable XP xx014C63 NVDLC03ThinkTankDoctor8
Icon gray x
Picking Your Brains The Think Tank Various Doctors Variable XP xx0121E3 NVDLC03ThinkTankQuest
Icon gray x
Project X-13 X-13 stealth testing lab Test terminal Stealth suit Mk II xx006D8D NVDLC03X13Setup
Icon gray x
Sonic Emitter Upgrade The Think Tank Doctor Klein Variable XP xx0166E2 NVDLC03SonicEmitterQuest
Icon gray x
What's in a Name? The Think Tank Doctor 0 Variable XP xx014CFB NVDLC03ThinkTankDoctor0a
Icon gray x
When Visitors Attack! The Think Tank Various Doctors Variable XP xx014CFE NVDLC03ThinkTankDoctor0b
Icon gray x
X-8 Data Retrieval Test X-8 research center Test terminal Variable XP xx00DD5C NVDLC03X8Replay


This section is transcluded from Fallout: New Vegas challenges. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.
Name Recurring Requirement Amount to do Perk Given XP Form ID
Automaton No Built a robot bent on destruction. 1 - 100 xx015B04
Mad Scientist No Had an experiment go horribly awry. 1 - 100 xx015B02
Evil Genius No Created an abomination. 1 - 100 xx015B03
Make up Your Mind No Made up your mind... about your brain. 1 - 500 xx009DE2
Making Friends No Reactivated all of the Sink's robotic assistants. 10 - 500 xx011956
Cardiac Arrest! No Recovered X-13 cardiac regulator sneaky suit! 1 - 500 xx009DE4
Caza-Death Dealer 3 ranks Killed cazadores in the Big MT. 2/5/10 DNAvenger xx00DA29
Dog Run I/II/III 3 ranks Completed the X-8 Basic/Advanced Testing Program/...with night stalkers! 4 runs DNAgent xx00A446
MT Space No Visited every location in the Big MT. 35 - 100 xx00A44C
Klein Destine No Dressed in a complete set of Dr. Klein Clothes.
(Dr. Klein's glove, Dr. Klein's glasses, Dr. Klein's scrubs)
1 - 100 xx009DE1
Mobius Strip No Dressed in a complete set of Dr. Mobius Clothes.
(Dr. Mobius' glove, Dr. Mobius' scrubs, Dr. Mobius' glasses)
1 - 100 xx009DE7
Outer Space No Dared to venture beyond the Big MT's perimeter...more than once! 2 - 100 xx00A44D
Outsmarted No Completed Old World Blues 1 - 500 xx009DE5
Spinal-Tapped No Recovered X-8 vertebrae-pulse-de-sensitizer frequency! 1 - 500 xx009DE3
VR the Champions I/II/III 3 ranks Completed the X-13 Basic/Advanced Infiltration and Robot Compliance tests 3 runs - 100 xx00A449


This section is transcluded from Fallout: New Vegas perks. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.

Regular perks[]

Name Level req Other requirements Ranks Benefit Form ID
Atomic! 20 EN 6 1 In irradiated areas, +25% move and attack speed, +2 DT, +2 ST. With excess rad level, AP regen scales from 1.1 times to 1.5 times normal. xx008011
Mile in Their Shoes 20 Survival 25 1 You have come to understand night stalkers. Consuming night stalker squeezin's now grants bonuses to Perception (+1 PER), Poison Resistance (+5), and Stealth (+5 Sneak) in addition to the normal benefits. xx009619
Them's Good Eatin' 20 Survival 55 1 Any living creature you kill has a 50% chance to have the potent healing items thin red paste or blood sausage when looted.


Implant GRX 30 EN 8 2 You gain a non-addictive subdermal turbo (chem) injector. This perk may be taken twice, with the second rank increasing the effect from 2 to 3 seconds and the uses per day from 5 to 10 (activated in the Pip-Boy inventory). xx009D48

Challenge and special perks[]

Name Unlock conditions Ranks Benefit Form ID
Brainless Automatically acquired during Welcome to the Big Empty
Can optionally be swapped with Big Brained after completing Old World Blues
1 Head can no longer be crippled, +25% resistance to chem addiction, +5% DT (min +1) xx0098BE
Heartless Automatically acquired during Welcome to the Big Empty
Can optionally be swapped with Cardiac Arrest during and after completing Old World Blues
1 Poison immunity, -50% chance to get critical hits from robots, and lesser bonus consumable healing. xx0098C2
Spineless Automatically acquired during Welcome to the Big Empty
Can optionally be swapped with Reinforced Spine during and after completing Old World Blues
1 Torso can no longer be crippled.+1 Strength, +1 DT. xx0098BC
Big Brained Optionally given by the Sink Auto-Doc after Old World Blues
Can optionally be swapped with Brainless after completing Old World Blues
1 The perk is not implemented properly and does not function. Head can no longer be crippled, +10% resistance to chem addiction, +10% DT (min +1). xx015BBA
Cardiac Arrest Optionally given by the Sink Auto-Doc during and after Old World Blues
Can optionally be swapped with Heartless during and after completing Old World Blues
1 +50% to poison resistance, -25% chance to get critical hits from robots, and bonus consumable healing. xx015BBB
Reinforced Spine Optionally given by the Sink Auto-Doc during and after Old World Blues
Can optionally be swapped with Spineless during and after completing Old World Blues
1 Torso can still be crippled, +2 Strength, +2 Damage Threshold. xx015BBC
DNAgent Complete X-8 Data Retrieval Test in the X-8 research center 1 10% bonus to damage dealt against night stalkers xx009617
DNAvenger Complete ranks of the Caza-Death Dealer challenge (kill 2/3/5 cazadores in Big MT; cazador kills outside Big MT do not count). 3 10%/20%/30% bonus to damage dealt against cazadores. xx00DA28
Stealth Suit Mk II (perk) Complete the last test of Project X-13 in the X-13 research facility 1

The perk is not implemented properly and does not function. +20% increased sneak speed


Implant perks[]

These can be acquired regardless of acquiring the maximum number of implants sold by Doctor Usanagi.

Name Unlock conditions Ranks Benefit Form ID
Implant C-13 Surgery purchased through dialogue with the Sink Auto-Doc in The Sink for 8,000 caps. 1 Plus 10% damage to cazadores xx009616
Implant M-5 Surgery purchased through dialogue with the Sink Auto-Doc in The Sink for 10,000 caps. 1 Your crouched movement speed is increased by 20%. xx009614
Implant Y-3 Surgery purchased through dialogue with the Sink Auto-Doc in The Sink for 12,000 caps. 1 Removes any radiation taken from drinking an irradiated water source. xx009615
Implant Y-7 Surgery purchased through dialogue with the Sink Auto-Doc in The Sink for 20,000 caps. 1 +5 health and +2 restored action points through the consumption of food. xx00961A


This section is transcluded from Fallout: New Vegas traits. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.
Name Benefit Penalty Code
Claustrophobia + 1 to SPECIAL attributes while outside. - 1 to SPECIAL attributes while indoors. xx0133AE
Early Bird + 2 to SPECIAL attributes from 6am to 12pm. - 1 to SPECIAL attributes from 6pm to 6am. xx012767
Hoarder + 25 lbs to total carry weight. - 1 to SPECIAL attributes while current equipment weight is below 160 lbs. xx01276D
Hot Blooded + 15% damage increase while below 50% health. - 2 to Perception and Agility while below 50% health. xx01276B
Logan's Loophole Chems last twice as long and addiction rates are set to zero. Locks the level cap at 30. xx01276E
Skilled Gain +5 points to every skill. You suffer -10% from experience gained. xx012B86


Name Requirement Achievement points Trophy type Image
Cardiac Arrest! Recovered X-13 cardiac regulator sneaky suit 20 Gamerscore Bronze Cardiacarrest
Make up Your Mind Made up your Mind... about your brain 20 Gamerscore Bronze Make up your mind
Making Friends Reactivated all of the Sink's robotic assistants 30 Gamerscore Silver Makingfriends
Outsmarted Completed Old World Blues. 35 Gamerscore Gold Outsmarted
Spinal-Tapped Recovered X-8 vertebrae-pulse-de-sensitizer frequency 20 Gamerscore Bronze Spinaltapped


  • The facilities inside the Big MT crater seem to be where Father Elijah found and gathered most of his equipment prior to Dead Money, such as the bomb collars and the holorifle, although Elijah claims he invented the holorifle.[1] There is also evidence Christine Royce and Ulysses both visited Big MT around the same time as Father Elijah.[2]
  • Like all New Vegas add-ons, Old World Blues raises the level cap by 5.[3] The add-on also offers new traits (and gives you the opportunity to change your own traits if you've already chosen them) including one called Logan's Loophole that will allow you to cap your level at 30 and give you additional bonuses regarding chems.
  • Old World Blues can be difficult for low-level player characters. Before going in, the game advises that Old World Blues is recommended for Couriers of Level 15+. Some enemies in the Big Empty can offer a challenge even for a Courier at level 30+. Old World Blues enemies pose a much larger threat for Couriers at Level 40+, however, as many enemies level with the player character.
  • Equipment will not be stripped from the player character at the beginning of the add-on, and it features an open-world setting. There is also no limit to the amount of equipment that can be taken into the add-on.[4]
  • Like all New Vegas add-ons, companions cannot accompany the Courier to the new land. However, there is one temporary companion in the add-on, a cyberdog named Roxie who has her own ending if she is created.
  • There is an upgradeable housing (via completing quests), called The Sink, in the add-on,[5] complete with a few robotic appliances which have individual personalities and different voices.
  • In addition to providing free basic healing services (restoring HP, repairing limb damage, removing radiation and drug dependency), the Sink Auto-Doc allows the player character to alter their looks, hairstyle and, for one time only, their traits. If gathered, the auto-doc can also integrate implants that give permanent attributes to the player character.
  • There is a new radio station added to both the Big Empty and the Mojave. It plays 3 new jazz songs, along with 2 songs from Radio New Vegas. The song Begin Again by Vera Keyes is also heard.
  • Once the add-on is completed, the player may return to the Big Empty via the Big Mountain Transportalponder!. They cannot, however, use the item while in the inside, in a combat situation, or in Freeside, The Fort, Camp McCarran or the Strip. The player can, however, use it in Higgs Village, outside of the houses.
  • Completion of the add-on does not close off side quests that are as yet uncompleted, even if these quests have not yet begun.
  • In Ulysses' Point, the player character "gets a taste" of Ulysses by listening to holotapes left in the Big Empty. Patient log: Y-17.9 also gives a statement referring to Lonesome Road.
  • Christine Royce and Father Elijah from Dead Money are also involved in Old World Blues, although they do not appear in the add-on. There are holotapes of Christine speaking, along with her weapon and her armor. Father Elijah's weapons can also be found in his hideout, Elijah's Watch, along with his notes compiled while in Big MT.
  • If you play Christine's holotapes in front of her during the Dead Money add-on, she will not take any notice.
  • The Sierra Madre poster can be seen in Big MT.
  • The Courier's brain, spine, and heart are removed by the scientists and held as leverage. At the beginning of the add-on, the spine and heart can be found in The Sink, and after completing the main questline, the brain is placed among them.
  • The sound from the speakers in Dead Money can also be heard at the end of the trailer and from the speakers in the Little Yangtze prison camp.
  • Some areas contain hanging dolls on a string like in the X-13 research facility. These are the same as the swamp totems in the Fallout 3 add-on, Point Lookout.
  • Unlike Dead Money or Honest Hearts, all achievements or trophies can be earned in one playthrough without replaying.
  • When in Hardcore mode, the sleep meter stays at zero unless the Courier sleeps. There may be a delay before the sleep meter starts.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The Big Empty was a location that was scrapped from Black Isle's canceled Fallout 3 (Van Buren).
  • At one point prior to release, Chris Avellone set his location on his Twitter profile to "Big MT, Mojave," placing the Big Empty as a location within the Mojave Wasteland and thus teasing its possible appearance in a future Fallout: New Vegas add-on.
  • According to Joshua Sawyer, Old World Blues was born out of Chris Avellone's desire to make a "humor-oriented" DLC where one of the main objectives was to make the players laugh.[6]
  • The add-on contains many homages to the science fiction B-movies of the 1950s. There are many references to these types of movies throughout the add-on, and both Dr. Mobius and Dr. 0 mention them directly.
  • Old World Blues was nominated for Best DLC Award at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards. It was the only one of the Fallout: New Vegas add-ons to be nominated.
  • The add-on's main quest shares many similarities with the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz in that the Courier searches for their brain (Scarecrow), their heart (The Tin Man) and their spine (courage for the Lion) after initially being unconscious after entering Big Mountain (as Dorothy was knocked unconscious in order to enter Oz). Additionally, Dr. Mobius is initially portrayed to be malevolent or sinister, much like the Wizard of Oz himself, only to have it revealed that he is quite misunderstood. The Big Mountain Transportalponder! acts as the Ruby Slippers, taking the Courier back home. Dr. Mobius mentions this subtly, though he refers to the three main characters of the film as a "band of murderous thugs."
  • Several concepts from Old World Blues such as the proton axe and the robo-scorpion are inspired by Wasteland, the 1980s game which is considered to be Fallout's predecessor.
  • Several elements from the Environmental Protection Agency were later recycled in Fallout: New Vegas via the Old World Blues add-on.
    • Holograms were to be found at the EPA, functioning as custodians of the facility and as tour guides prior to the Great War. Five of these holograms were to be the division heads of the agency and could be spoken to. Though hologram technology made occasional appearances in games after Fallout 2 as world objects, it was not until the release of Dead Money and Old World Blues that holograms would appear in a major role. Holograms—both static and moving—appear throughout the Sierra Madre Villa and the Casino, some serving as merchants and others as security. A single moving one can also be found at the Z-38 lightwave dynamics research facility.
    • An event known as the "Great Static" would have warped the duties of the existing holograms of the EPA. In Old World Blues, the event is referenced in name by Doctor Borous, Dala and Klein.[7][8][9]
      • In Fallout Bible 0, the Great Static occurred in 2077 and led to the loss of many records.[Non-game 1] In Van Buren, the ZAX unit of Boulder Dome would have mentioned the "great Static" and how it followed the aftermath of the Great War. The event resulted in the AI forgetting data and struggling to remember things.[Non-canon 1]
    • The division heads of the EPA are stuck in a memory loop due to a powerful magnetic field. In Old World Blues, each member of Think Tank was reprogrammed into a recursion loop by Doctor Mobius to prevent his colleagues from experimenting on the Mojave Wasteland. Mobius also reprogrammed them, and himself, with new names to strengthen the loop, each one relating to an actual loop, such as 0 (infinitely looping symbol), 8 (symbol for infinity when placed sideways), Klein (from klein bottle), Borous (from ouroboros) and Dala (from mandala).
      • Excluding Doctor Mobius, the Think Tank consists of five members. The EPA division heads were also made up of five members.
    • Hologram 00000 can only communicate in binary due to an electrical short that damaged his vocal abilities. With high enough Science of Intelligence, the player could have understood him and subsequently fixed the damage. In Old World Blues, Doctor 8's voice module was damaged after an attack and as a result, can only speak in the RobCo termlink protocol. When spoken, this amounts to electronic screeching that is subtitled with symbols, such as "!@#$%*" etc. With high enough Perception or Intelligence, the player can notice this fact and converse with him, though his speech can only be ascertained from the player prompts; his text remains unaltered and his voice module cannot be repaired.
    • The Brave Little Toaster was a sentient kitchen appliance that could be found in the abandoned kitchens of the EPA. Speaking to it would amount to one-sided conversations that would devolve into the toaster asking if the player would like to toast bread of waffles. In Old World Blues, another sentient appliance can be found simply named Toaster, who is obsessed with destroying the world in nuclear fire.
    • Hibernation cells were found at the lower levels of the EPA. In Dead Money, Father Elijah mentions that Big MT had treasures of technology, including hibernation chambers in his list. Though they are mentioned to exist at Big MT, none can be found at the facility in Old World Blues.





Fallout New Vegas Old World Blues DLC Trailer


  1. 743.00Hz ULF radio signal: "Wish I... still had that damn Holorifle. Spent forever making it... need to find it when this is all done."
  2. Patient log: Y-17.9
  3. Honest Hearts screenshot, DLC out May 17 - Bethesda Softworks Forums (archived).
  4. Is there anyone that DOES like having their gear taken away? - Bethesda Softworks Forums - Page 3 (archived)
  5. Jason Bergman on The Sink (archived)
  6. Fallout: New Vegas 10th Anniversary Charity Stream Part 3 (reference starts at 42:25)
    Joshua Sawyer: "I feel comfortable saying this - Chris wanted to make a humor-oriented DLC. He wanted to make a DLC where the focus was actually like, 'no, we're just going to try to be funny.'"
  7. Courier: "This used to be a mountain?"
    Dala: "Yes, Big MT was quite big indeed until the Great Static. Then the top of the mountain was used as part of a detonation experiment. This cleared additional space in the Crater, however, allowing us more real estate to build upon. Convenient. Efficient."
    (Doctor Dala's dialogue)
  8. Courier: "All right... when did you create Cazadores?"
    Borous: "-In... two thousand... let's see, carry the three... then count backwards from the Great Static... or beyond?- -There were the tarantula debates... and something about hawks, which made it around... eh, 2003? May? Tuesday. It was definitely Tuesday.-"
    (Doctor Bourous' dialogue)
    (Doctor Klein's dialogue)
  1. Fallout Bible 0: "Nonetheless, even members of the Enclave probably could not answer the question of who created the Vault experiments and their reasons, as many of the people responsible for the creation of the Vaults died long ago, and many records were lost in the great static of 2077. President Richardson was familiar with the purpose of the Vaults, but he never saw them as more than little test tubes of preserved humans he could mess with."


  1. Boulder design document: ""I had been built two years too late for the reason I had been created. And there was nothing I could do when the End came. The great Static, and the slow years where I began to die. I have forgotten so much, <CHARNAME>. Time kills machines as it kills humans, and I have felt the decay, the slow blindness, the inability to... remember. And yet there is still so much left to lose. If I lose these last parts of myself, then the work of a hundred years will be lost. Then Presper came to me, and gave me a new reason for existing. There is joy in purpose.­""
Old World Blues