Robert Edwin House is the founder, President and CEO of RobCo Industries, a vast computer and robotics corporation before the Great War. In 2281, he is the sole proprietor of the New Vegas Strip in the Mojave Wasteland.
Before the war, Robert House sustained himself in a microbial free chamber, integrating himself with the subsystems of the Lucky 38 via a cerebral interface. Utilizing the Lucky 38's defense systems, House saved Las Vegas and Hoover Dam from complete destruction. Though his efforts saved the city, he was put into a coma from the excessive strain on the software supporting his brain and support systems.
He would bide his time until the arrival of the New California Republic when he would reform several tribes in the New Vegas area into the Three Families to turn New Vegas into a civilized city again under the oversight of his Securitron army. Starting with the Las Vegas Strip, Mr. House rebuilt several of the casinos for each of the Three Families to bring the former glory of pre-War Las Vegas back to the Mojave. With the New Vegas Strip acting as an autonomous body, he entered a tenuous partnership with the NCR as they marched into the Mojave to seize the Hoover Dam.
His position to make any maneuvers strategically were handicapped by an outdated version of his OS with the only upgrade for his systems being the platinum chip lost during the Great War. However, the platinum chip had recently been found and he contracted a Courier with the Mojave Express to deliver it to him personally.
Born on June 25, 2020 to a wealthy Nevada tool magnate. Robert Edwin House grew up around Las Vegas but was orphaned at an early age when his parents died in a freak accident involving an autogyro and a lightning strike. Cheated out of his inheritance by his half-brother, Anthony,[Non-game 1] he nevertheless attended the Commonwealth Institute of Technology and later went on to found RobCo Industries in his hometown of Las Vegas in 2042, at the age of 22. It would soon become one of the most profitable corporations in the world, owing mostly to House's considerable technical genius and business acumen. He used the wealth and power to gain controlling interests in a myriad of other businesses. These included REPCONN Aerospace, the Lucky 38 Hotel & Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard, and perhaps, most personally, the H&H Tools Company, the family business usurped by his half-brother (although, the factory on the outskirts of Vegas was still under his brother's control in 2077). But along with his fame came a look into his peculiar personality. A scandal emerged when House was dating a starlet, but only wanted to scan her brain and make her dress in different outfits, a story that captured the interest of foreign tabloids like El Periódico de las Aburridas.
Mr. House would regularly design and run mathematical paradigms based on global political and socioeconomic conditions in an effort to predict future events. By 2065, these projections led him to the inexorable conclusion that the world would be engulfed in a nuclear war within fifteen years. Armed with his projections, House went to work making preparations to ensure the city would survive the apocalypse and that he would live to see the world after the war. He programmed multiple mainframes with satellite links meant to disable the vast majority of the missiles while in flight, then designed an array of high-powered laser cannons, which he had installed on the roof of the Lucky 38 and Hoover Dam, to deal with any missile his program had missed. To preserve himself, he took equally drastic steps: his body was permanently connected to an extremely sophisticated life support device named a "hibernation chamber" to take care of his physiological needs, while his brain was wired directly into his vast information network via an enormous supercomputer.
An integral element of his plan was the platinum chip, which in reality was the combination of an access card and a high capacity data storage device, containing a vital OS upgrade for his Securitrons and the laser defense network. The chip was to be delivered in the afternoon of October 23, 2077. However, about 20 hours before it could be delivered, the Great War happened. The chip was lost and not rediscovered until over 200 years later by some of the multiple scavengers hired by House. Forced to work with an inferior version of the OS, he suffered numerous system crashes but this OS version only allowed him to save Las Vegas from 68 out of the 77 warheads, 59 disarmed and 9 destroyed, aimed at the city. But due to using an inferior software, numerous system crashes occurred and the Lucky 38's main reactor had to be shut down. For five years, House fought power outages and more system crashes until he rebooted his system in an old version of his operating system, but was put in a decades-long coma.
House regained consciousness in 2138.[Non-game 2] Biding his time, he entered the world stage once again in 2274, when Securitrons under his command emerged from the Lucky 38. This action was prompted by the arrival of New California Republic scouts at Hoover Dam. In order to establish his rule, he enlisted the help of tribes living in New Vegas (later known as the Three Families) and rebuilt the city just in time to welcome the arrival of the New California Republic Army's advance forces. In exchange for help with Hoover Dam and permission to use McCarran International Airport as its headquarters, House signed the New Vegas Treaty, ensuring cooperation from NCR and, for a time, protecting the Strip from annexation.
House resides in the Lucky 38 and is in charge of the Securitrons that roam New Vegas. At some point after emerging from stasis, House won the leadership of Vault 21 in a bet, stripped it of all useful technology, and then planned to permanently seal the Vault away by filling it with cement. At the pleadings of Sarah Weintraub he left the top section of Vault 21 as it used to be, and she converted it into a hotel (all the casino equipment was already there from the vault experiment).
Mr. Houses' top priority was to re-acquire the platinum chip, lost to him on the eve of the Great War. For years during his awake period, House would spend cumulative millions of caps on scavenger teams and prospectors to find the platinum chip. The expenditure ultimately paid off in 2281 when the platinum chip was found after 204 years. Mr. House contracted the delivery of it to the Mojave Express, and to cover up the importance of the package, Mr. House tried obfuscating it through various dummy packages of miscellaneous novelty junk items. Mercenary teams were also dispatched to screen the routes for potential dangers.
Carried by the Courier to New Vegas, the Courier and chip were intercepted by Benny around Goodsprings after attaining the exact route through Yes Man eavesdropping on House's datastream. Benny intended to use it to gain control of the New Vegas Strip and make it an independent power in the wasteland, free of his employer's machinations. Mr. House was not unaware of Benny's involvement, a securitron, Victor, he had planted in Goodsprings had reported back to him on Benny's betrayal and theft of the platinum chip. Mr. House felt betrayed, as he considered Benny as a protégé that could be his right-hand man able to achieve tasks he alone could not, but misjudged his drive for supremacy. Mr. House would closely watch the Courier, having had Victor dig them out their grave, further observe them as they left Goodsprings, and wander into the New Vegas Strip. Once there, Mr. House would have Victor direct them to the Lucky 38 in hopes of using their want for revenge on Benny to take the platinum chip back.
Mr. House is extremely physically decrepit and can only live inside a self-contained life support unit. The Courier can circumvent House's security and see his true form, inside a life support chamber. On several parts of his body, connections to the support system can be seen. Opening his isolation chamber dooms House to death within a year due to contamination.
Mr. House is a very reclusive individual, although this is largely due to his fragile physical state, which forces him to remain sealed in the Lucky 38 control room. His unwillingness to allow his life's work to be ruined by the folly of what he perceives as an increasingly unstable world has cemented, in his mind, the fate of democracy and human civilization itself. His contempt for most post-apocalyptic institutions, from bottle caps to the various factions, stems from what he perceives as humanity's inability to learn from its past mistakes.
Mr. House seeks to restore New Vegas to its pre-War glory as a crown jewel of technological innovation and a bright neon paradise of business and fortune. Having experienced pre-War Vegas first-hand, he has long been enamored with the city's beauty and grandeur. His vision of autocracy and disillusionment with democratic society stems from his resentment towards the attitudes and actions of the increasingly desperate pre-War United States, whose decline was precipitated by the failure to adequately research and develop alternative technologies. His ultimate goal is to guide civilization's progress and forge a new future for mankind, free of the corrupting influences of the past.
His own strategies and decisions are largely based on mathematical calculations, and he is confident in his own ability to succeed. He styles himself as an "autocrat," viewing New Vegas as his rightful dominion, and is dismissive of other factions vying for control, comparing them to "two snarling dogs fighting over a curve of bone." He further disparages both groups as nothing more than "regurgitations of the past" drawing parallels between the two as attempts to revive past civilizations rather than offer a palpable future. He derides the NCR as a "society of customers" led by scheming leaders who wish to take Vegas out from under him, while showing disgust at the Legion's practice of slavery, technophobia and general brutality.
Focused only on achieving his goals, he has little interest in monitoring or controlling the lives of others. He allows the casinos autonomy, and is largely reliant on the few information networks at his disposal and his Securitron patrols to maintain order. He takes great pride in his achievements, seeing himself as a visionary and his own life as the embodiment of great leadership. He takes great interest in the Courier, seeing them as a valuable asset to be utilized for overcoming obstacles too challenging for his other agents. Though their relationship is mainly professional, Mr. House comes to regard the Courier with respect and shows appreciation for their services, should they choose to help Mr. House. The Courier's success equates to his own success in judging them capable, inviting them to continue aiding him in his increasingly ambitious goals.
Relations with other factions
Interactions with the player character
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- The House Always Wins: Mr. House gives the player character the quest, which leads to one of the final quests, All or Nothing. In this case, the player character communicates with House only through the computer terminal in his office.
- For the Republic, Part 2, Wild Card: Change in Management, Render Unto Caesar: However, if the player character decides to side with NCR, Caesar or fight for an independent New Vegas, Mr. House has to be killed or disabled.
- The Moon Comes Over the Tower: Emily Ortal asks the player character to bug one of House's terminals for important medical information.
Effects of player's actions
- Upon his death, the quest The House Has Gone Bust! will simultaneously trigger and fail, and the note A tragedy has befallen all mankind will appear in the player character's inventory.
- If the player character takes Mr. House out of his stasis chamber, he will ask them why they have ruined his plans and he will react differently depending on what they tell him.
- If told they did it in the name of the NCR, he will belittle them for working for them, declaring them "snakes," and call the Courier a "sad, misguided whore."
- If told they are acting on behalf of Caesar, he will be horrified at the prospect of slavery being humanity's future.
- If told they did it for Yes Man, he will tell them their "vanity project" is doomed for failure.
- If saying it was "just business," he will retort by saying that they should have worked for him if what they wanted was personal gain.
- Finally, if the player character says they did it just because they didn't like him, he will call them a fool for letting their feelings about him jeopardize humanity's future.
- Mr. House plays a major role in the game. The Courier hears a lot about him while traveling, but upon reaching New Vegas, they are invited via Victor to visit House in Lucky 38. There, he provides vital information about Benny and the platinum chip and allows the Courier and their companions to use Lucky 38's presidential suite as a safehouse.
- Mr. House has an interest in the collectible snowglobes found in the game, and will pay handsomely for each. The snowglobes can be given to Jane in exchange for 2000 caps each. Snowglobes found in Sierra Madre (Dead Money), Big MT (Old World Blues), Zion National Park (Honest Hearts) and the Divide (Lonesome Road) will automatically be removed from the player's inventory and replaced with 2000 caps (with the exception of the Sierra Madre snow globe, which adds 2000 Sierra Madre chips). Once the Courier has sold a snowglobe to Jane it is placed on display (on a mantle) in the Lucky 38 presidential suite. However, if the player kills Mr. House, the snowglobes will stay in their inventory and Jane will disappear.
- The Courier can also attempt to pickpocket Mr. House, but he does not yield any items.
- Mr. House counts as an abomination for the Abominable challenge. Because he is considered an abomination, shooting him with the flare gun results in the "The abomination panics and flees!" message, but nothing else happens.
- House is one of the characters that the player character must eat in order to earn the Meat of Champions perk.
Narrated by Ron Perlman
|#||Slide||Voice-over narration||In-game condition|
|1||Mr. House's Securitron army took control of Hoover Dam and the Strip, pushing both the Legion and the exhausted NCR out of New Vegas. Mr. House continued to run New Vegas his way, a despotic vision of pre-War glory. The streets were orderly, efficient, cold. New Vegas continued to be the sole place in the wasteland where fortunes were won and lost in the blink of an eye.||Complete The House Always Wins for Mr. House.|
- Another portrait of Robert House, similar to the one in the House Resort, is found in House #00 of Higgs Village in the add-on Old World Blues. It was punctured by several knives, most likely by Doctor 0, who has an intense hatred for House.
- If Mr. House is disintegrated by an energy weapon, the stasis chamber disintegrates with him. The same event occurs when using a plasma weapon.
- From information contained on the terminals in the H&H Tools factory, it is gleaned that Robert House's half-brother, Anthony, used underhanded means to wrest his inherited share of the family business from him after the death of their father.
- Mr. House is given the nickname "Not-At-Home" by the Omertas for his tendency to remain ostensibly neutral in Strip affairs.
- In the G.E.C.K., there is a version of Mr. House as a human before the war, although he has no mustache and his hair is gray, rather than black as it looks on his computer.
- House cannot be targeted in V.A.T.S.
- If the player character kills him using the Ranger Takedown with any kind of displacer glove, Mr. House and the stasis chamber will flip over, causing a lag or freeze.
- When killed, the player character loses Karma, despite House's Neutral Karma.
- If the player character speaks to Ulysses after the end of Lonesome Road, they can tell him if they have killed House. At first he is indifferent and wonders what will happen to Vegas and the Three Families now that House is gone, but soon after he states that it's for the best.
- In Fallout 4, approaching Deezer in Covenant while having Deacon as a companion will trigger a dialogue in which he says "Command override. Vocal audio House, Robert. Access core programming." Deacon claims that this is House's personal security override code and that he won it in a poker game.
- House is mentioned in the RobCo Auto-Cache terminal in the Fallout 76 update Wastelanders.
Behind the scenes
- Mr. House is the King of Diamonds in the deck of Vault playing cards included with the Collector's Edition of Fallout: New Vegas.
- Mr. House was written by John Gonzalez.
- Mr. House's personality is based on that of Howard Hughes a reclusive millionaire with ties to the real world Las Vegas Strip.
- On the first floor of House Resort hangs a large portrait of Mr. House standing in front of an enormous, bipedal robot. The portrait is based on a real-world photograph of Howard Hughes standing in front of a Boeing 100A aircraft in 1934.
- The challenge A Slave Obeys requires the player character to kill Mr. House with the 9 iron or Driver Nephi's golf club. This is a reference to the video game BioShock, where one beats an antagonist, Andrew Ryan, to death with a 9 iron while he repeats the words "A man chooses, a slave obeys." Both characters were based in part on Howard Hughes and share some similarities and visions. And determinately, their visions are (if you sided against Mr. House) what led to their downfall.
- In casino parlance, "the house" refers generally to the gambler's opponent, the casino itself, as in the idiom "the house always wins."
- Jane, House's Securitron companion, is a reference to real world actress Jane Russell, who worked for Howard Hughes' production company for several years.
- Mr. House had another female programmed Securitron named Marilyn who is based on the real world Marilyn Monroe, but the character was cut. However, she appears alongside Jane in a card from the deck of cards of the Collector's Edition, as in real life, Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe were contemporaries. The texture file for her "face" is still in the game's files, and there's a reference to her in the G.E.C.K. Also, after meeting Mr. House, Veronica will say she's "surprised he only had the two robot sex slaves."
- Joshua Sawyer stated that the platinum chip was carried by the Courier from southern NCR through the Hub, at Mr. House's behest.[Non-game 3]
He's also authoritarian on economic issues within certain boundaries. In the same way that a fascist government would exert authority on the various production/capital resources involved in a market, Mr. House exerts his authority on The Strip's operation. Ultimately, he wants The Strip to be (extremely) profitable and to retain independence from NCR/CL. However, he does not want the families to be independent from his authority, so he does what he can to keep them under his thumb. He doesn't want to micromanage what they do, but he also knows that allowing them to do whatever they want could eventually lead to the downfall of his authority or fighting between the families (which would also undermine his authority).Really, the main area in which Mr. House is "liberal" is in personal consumption and behavior. As long as it makes him money and doesn't create instability or feuding on The Strip, he allows it.”— Joshua Sawyer's Formspring on Robert House's ideology
- A Medicine check of 35, gaining XP each time, can be accessed in Mr. House's dialogue repeatably. [verified]
- setally 1267AB 0001B2A4, resetquest 00147885, setstage 00147885 5, setobjectivedisplayed 00147885 1, prid 001264c5, setdestroyed 0. [verified] Activating Mr. House fails to start dialogue, rendering him useless (the mainframe). This might be the result of resetting ally status of Securitrons when they are hostile due to a faction error with Vault 11 robots. To fix this, enter the following commands into the console:
- The dialogue ending "at Fortification Hill" may cause a crash once he is finished talking. [verified]
- The stasis version of Mr. House will sometimes break, turning invisible. [verified]
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collectors Edition p.305: "[2.06] H&H Tools Factory
Long before the war, H&H Tools Company provided Nevada and California high-quality robotics equipment. Owned by the half-brother of Robert Edwin House (the founder of RobCo, and—were it not for the 200 year gap—the same man who lives in the Lucky 38 Casino). When their father was killed in an accident, the elder brother swindled Robert out of the family fortune, and assumed control of the company.
Robert went on, through his dealings with RobCo and their lucrative contracts, to become one of the wealthiest men on earth. His half-brother meanwhile, became increasingly paranoid, seeking to guard himself against a vengeance that never came, and inflicting all manner of strange HR rules on his workforce. The remains of this factory still stand, surrounded by husk-like remains of North Vegas' industrial area."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.454: "2138: Mr. House regains consciousness."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide/Behind the Bright Lights & Big City)
- J.E. Sawyer: "The Courier carried his/her delivery from southern NCR, toward the Hub. We intentionally left the Courier's origins and the exact nature of the initial transaction vague."