Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

A beautiful thing. Saved a little blast powder here, hid a makeshift weapon there, and one day I orchestrated a little symphony for the NCR.

Samuel Cooke is the original leader of the Powder Gangers' prisoner uprising, an anti-NCR revolutionary, and the leader of a small group of escaped convicts out of Vault 19 in the Mojave Wasteland in 2281.


Samuel Cooke is a unique character among NCR convicts. His hatred of the Republic is motivated by politics, as he sees the NCR as a corrupt, imperialist, tyrannical beast that forces its system on every man, woman, and child in the wasteland.[1] His revolutionary zeal led him to wage a campaign of sabotage in New California, blowing up Republican caravans along Interstate 15. He was only one man, on his own, and was eventually captured.[2]

Cooke's sentence landed him in the NCR Correctional Facility in the Mojave Wasteland. Incarceration did nothing to extinguish the fire in his heart. While he acted like a model prisoner, anti-NCR sentiments aside,[3] he prepared for an uprising with a band of trusted inmates. Samuel hid makeshift weapons and secreted away small quantities of explosives used in railroad construction while working in the chain gangs that labored under the Mojave sun, clearing the way for NCR trains.[4]

Eventually, Cooke saw an opportunity. When the Republic redeployed another group of prison guards away to the Colorado, he and his men blasted their way out of the cell block, overwhelmed the guards, and earned their freedom. The rest of the prisoners joined in when they realized what happened. However, Cooke left the prison together with a group of followers, allowing Eddie to form the Powder Gangers. Cooke took his men to Vault 19, where he plans to take advantage the local areas dangerous wildlife and the sulfur deposits beneath to arm himself with high explosives and kindle the fires of war against the Republic anew.[5][6]

However, Cooke is dealing with insubordination from Philip Lem, a convict who helped with the prison break and tagged along when Cooke left but has begun to rethink his choice and now wants to leave with some others and surrender to the NCR, but Cooke won't let them.[7] causing confusion within the small group's ranks about who is actually in charge.[8]

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

Icon quest starter.png
This character starts quests.

Why Can't We Be Friends?

Icon interactions other.webp
This character offers miscellaneous services.
  • Killing Samuel Cooke will automatically turn all the Vault 19 convicts hostile, even if the kill is made stealthily with a silenced weapon or a planted explosive.


  • Why Can't We Be Friends?: After killing the fire geckos, Samuel will ask for help securing the Powder Gangers alliance with the Great Khans.
    • If the Courier talks to Papa Khan, and returns to the Vault a few days after completing the quest, they will find the Vault deserted, since Cooke and the convicts left to join the Great Khans.
    • If the player character sides with Lem and blows up the caves, Cooke will curse the player character for their actions. With his support dwindling, he eventually leaves the Vault so he can continue to wage war on the NCR.


Notable quotes


Samuel Cooke appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.


Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 The convicts and Cooke may be hostile if you have a vilified reputation with the Powder Gangers, or if you have killed Papa Khan. [verified]


  1. The Courier: "Tell me about the NCR."
    Samuel Cooke: "Their "republic" is a joke. They're a bunch of tyrants led by an even greater tyrant, that idiot Kimball. They think they have the right to annex every inch of dirt in the West and force their system on every man, woman, and child."
    (Samuel Cooke's dialogue)
  2. The Courier: "How did you end up in prison?"
    Samuel Cooke: "I was blowing up supply caravans along the 15 freeway. The NCR got wise to my ambush spots, picked me up and threw me in a cage."
    (Samuel Cooke's dialogue)
  3. NCR Correctional Facility terminals; Warden's Terminal, Suspicions about prisoner conspiracy.
  4. The Courier: "Tell me about the prison break."
    Samuel Cooke: "A beautiful thing. Saved a little blast powder here, hid a makeshift weapon there, and one day I orchestrated a little symphony for the NCR."
    (Samuel Cooke's dialogue)
  5. The Courier: "So, what brought you to this place?"
    Samuel Cooke: "Heard there was an abandoned vault along this mountain ridge, and that the wildlife here had teeth big enough to keep the NCR away."
    (Samuel Cooke's dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "What do you want the sulfur for?"
    Samuel Cooke: "Explosives. Bombs. Big, big fucking bombs. You gonna help us or not?"
    (Samuel Cooke's dialogue)
  7. The Courier: "What's going on here?"
    Philip Lem: "Fucking Cooke has us trapped here. After we escaped from an NCR prison, he dragged us around the wasteland until we ended up in this shit hole. A group of us want to leave, go back to the NCR and surrender. But Cooke won't let us."
    (Philip Lem's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "What's going on here?"
    Samuel Cooke: "That coward Lem has been talking about surrendering to the NCR. Now the men are confused, not sure who's leading this gang."
    (Samuel Cooke's dialogue)