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"City of the Dead"
The Sierra Madre was believed nothing more than a Mojave legend, a fabled City of Gold, where fortune could be found.Fallout: New Vegas loading screen, Dead Money

The Sierra Madre is a pre-War casino resort close to the Grand Canyon,[1] a dead city surrounded by a poisonous cloud. Many travelers and prospectors alike in the Mojave have sought out the legendary city after claiming to have heard a woman's voice on a pre-War radio broadcast, never to be heard from again. Only one man truly "found" it and lived. The Courier is lured to the Sierra Madre by that same broadcast advertising the gala grand opening.


The Sierra Madre chief architect and financier was Frederick Sinclair. The casino was intended as a place for guests to reverse their fortunes and "begin again."Fallout: New Vegas loading screen, Dead Money

The city and the resort and casino were designed and built by one man, Frederick Sinclair, his last venture a few years before the Great War. The Sierra Madre, especially the casino, was intended as a place for guests to reverse their fortunes and "begin again." During its construction until the end, it remained a reclusive area. All conveniences were supplied to the inhabitants by unique vending machines, which provided a number of commercial and non-commercial services, and allowed the residents to live in self-sufficiency, even when cut off from the outside world. The goal of the entire enterprise was not only to create a great casino - it was to create the perfect shelter from the nuclear holocaust. Every element of Sierra Madre's functions is designed to protect its inhabitants.

In design, Sinclair was drawn to the nostalgic Art Deco era. This is reflected in the architecture of the villa and of the casino. To make it a perfect opening gala, Sinclair strengthened its frequency emissions, normally reserved for emergency broadcast signals before the war. The kitchens of the Sierra Madre aimed for a 5-star rating, and sought to bring in the best chefs from around the world. In order to meet deadlines and budgets, the construction of the Sierra Madre was handled by two different companies: a well-performing company for the casino, and a cheaper, slacking, corrupt company for the Villa, resulting in numerous incidents during the construction of the Villa.

As guardian of his paradise, Sinclair forbade any other food or vending machines beyond the ones he'd installed there, and banned any personal contraband like chems, alcohol, and "foreign substances", which created a black market from the workers within. Part of Sierra Madre's security's role was to prevent such contraband from entering the Villa area. They were known to have conducted inspections of the Puesta del Sol construction offices, confiscating prohibited items.

Obsessed with security, likely due to his own financial losses in the 2070s, Sinclair installed holograms, a futuristic technology purchased on an exclusive contract by Sinclair. The doors of the Sierra Madre were designed to hermetically seal in case of emergency, and the speakers were shielded to prevent vandalism. The Sierra Madre Casino & Resort was equipped with an automated front desk that would escort guests to their rooms upon arrival, and security systems that would stun those entering with foreign substances or contaminated by radiation.

There is also a darker side to the Madre. In return for the technologies supplied by Big MT, Sinclair agreed to have the casino and the villa act as proving grounds for various experimental technologies such as the saturnite alloy, hazmat suits, and prototype matter recombinators. Sinclair was oblivious to the fact that previous similar deals did not end well (as was the case with Hopeville and its disastrous meteorological research project). In the Sierra Madre, the catch came in the form of the Cloud, a strange airborne toxin created in the laboratories of Big MT.

Sierra Madre Villa[]

This section is transcluded from Villa. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.

Constructed to serve as the private city of the guests, employees, and workers of Frederick Sinclair's remote resort, the Villa was deliberately built in the shadow of the Sierra Madre Casino & Resort. The streets were deliberately designed so that it was next to impossible to maneuver in a vehicle, in order to eliminate air pollution and noise nuisance.

In addition to the main road leading past the holographic fountain up to the resort, the Villa was composed of four districts: a Medical District containing the Villa clinic; Puesta del Sol, which witnessed numerous clashes and arguments involving the casino construction crews; most construction efforts seemed to have exhausted momentum and money by the time the bombs fell; a Residential District, for the casino's high rollers and entertainers; and Salida del Sol, the home of the church and many of the casino staff. Delays in the construction of Puesta del Sol resulted in Salida del Sol's construction lagging behind schedule.

Unbeknownst to Sinclair, a contractor named Mr. Yesterday had been grifting him and arranged for the use of using cheap materials and skipping on proper safety measures, with the crews pocketing the money made from their cutting corners. The material used for the Villa's construction was described as "sand barely held together with spit and glue." Buildings and structures in the Villa were completely unstable and could collapse overnight. All of this caused construction crews to suffer numerous setbacks and accidents. To prevent the employees of the Sierra Madre from discovering these facts, senior persons destroyed all medical reports, and also ensured they themselves were protected legally from liability. In addition, shipping problems plagued the Villa. Construction explosives, countless crates of steak knives, and more were shipped to the Villa, paid for, and left out in the open.

Sierra Madre Casino[]

This section is transcluded from Sierra Madre Casino & Resort. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.
The world's most famous stars and entertainers were invited to the Sierra Madre Grand Opening. An invitation was a sign of... exclusiveness. The opening was supposed to symbolize a brighter future, not just for the world... but for all who came to its doors. A chance for anyone to begin again. Except – the Sierra Madre never opened. The war froze it in time, like a big flashbulb going off. The Grand Opening - one big ending of humanity. It's still out there in the Wastes, preserved, just waiting for someone to crack it open. But getting to it. That's not the hard part. It's letting go.Elijah

The Sierra Madre Casino & Resort is more than just a remote, private getaway location – it is the material testament to one man's inability to let go. Fearing the world was turning towards nuclear apocalypse, Frederick Sinclair, the chief architect and financier of this grand fortress, wished only to save Vera Keyes, his love, from the looming destruction. To this end, the Sierra Madre Villa and its capstone casino were built. But that was not enough for Sinclair: deep within the basement of the casino, a nearly impenetrable vault was constructed as well, to make sure he and his love could survive the world's destruction and beyond, together.[2]

Accordingly, security was of the utmost importance and National Electric was contracted to provide it. Any foreign objects or unauthorized entrants were detected by security measures and immediately apprehended.[3] Further, an emergency broadcast emitter was built into its telecommunications network, linked to the myriad of holograms that would activate, patrol the casino and executive suites, and exercise lethal force on unauthorized visitors to protect the hotel guests under their charge.[4][5] The entire casino was also lined with a specially made metal that would interfere with radio reception and broadcasts out of the casino;[6] this was done to ensure that the radio frequencies from within the casino would not interfere with the hologram beacon in the Villa sending out an emergency signal so surviving authorities would be able to detect it and come to save Ms. Keyes within the casino.[2]

However, despite all his preparations, Sinclair failed to realize sooner that his plans were compromised from the beginning: Vera was secretly colluding with the lounge singer Dean Domino in a plot to manipulate and emotionally destroy the man who loved her in order to steal the treasures of the Sierra Madre for themselves. Domino had initially enlisted Vera's aid in his planned heist, later resorting to blackmailing her with evidence of her Med-X addiction once Vera started expressing doubts, completely unaware that she only used the drugs to cope with her terminal illness.[7][8]

Upon learning the truth, Sinclair's heart shattered and became filled with bitterness and a desire for vengeance. He modified the vault's security protocols, transforming the would-be shelter into a trap; Sinclair ensured the elevator down to the vault only went in one direction and upgraded his security holograms to make sure that rescue would never come for Vera and Domino once they entered the vault.[9] However, after Vera later broke down and confessed everything, Sinclair was filled with remorse and tried to reverse his changes, but it was too late. The casino devolved into a deathtrap, Sinclair himself dying to an accidental fall within the vault, separated from his beloved forever.[2]

The guests' terrible fate was carried out when, as the bombs fell around the Sierra Madre, they were slaughtered by the automated security mistaking them for intruders, their last calls for help recorded by the systems. Vera Keyes herself became a prisoner in her own suite, her last words to Sinclair recorded by the system and spoken from holographic duplicates, living on as ghosts in the executive suites. Sometime after, Vera chose to take her own life using the drugs that kept her alive, only after writing her final words "Let Go" on the walls of her bedroom.



Main article: Sierra Madre lobby

The main lobby serves as the nexus of the hotel, directing guests to other sections of the resort, including the casino, restaurant, theater, and executive suites.


Main article: Sierra Madre casino

The casino is the highlight of the hotel. Fully equipped with holographic croupiers and dealers, the casino offers a number of games, including Roulette, Blackjack, Craps and slot machines, in addition to the vending machines and a fully stocked bar, doing well to achieve the opulence Sinclair hoped to achieve.

Cantina Madrid[]

Main article: Cantina Madrid

The Cantina Madrid is the casino's restaurant and kitchen, a pinnacle of high dining. The entire area is filled with flammable gas until the several valves in the kitchen are shut off. Dog wanders the kitchen, arguing with God.

The Tampico[]

Main article: The Tampico

The Tampico was the Sierra Madre's theatre where legendary entertainers including Vera Keyes, Dean Domino, and many other popular entertainers were billed. It would have served as the primary entertainment hotspot for the guests of the Sierra Madre. The player character's final encounter with Dean Domino occurs here during Curtain Call at the Tampico.

Executive suites[]

Main article: Executive suites

Accessible via an elevator in the lobby, the executive suites consisted of high class bedrooms and suites for the visitors to the Sierra Madre. The area is in a state of greater disrepair than the rest of the casino, with portions of the Cloud seeping in through some of the hallways, and many rooms have large holes in the walls. Even after two centuries, it is still guarded by holograms.


Main article: Sierra Madre vault
MTG Begin again art crop

The "vault" is actually comprised of three areas within the basement of the hotel. Through the winding corridors of the basement, the vault is hidden deep within, guarded on all sides with Mk. III automated turrets. Inside is an impressive cache of supplies, prepared to wait out the war. Of little importance after a nuclear attack, there are a few small pyramid stacks of gold bars (far too much to take all of it), as well as a considerable amount of pre-War money. At the far end of the chamber sits Sinclair's terminal, containing a few bitter goodbyes. This room was where Sinclair had hoped to trap Dean Domino, locking himself inside and passing away within its impenetrable walls.

Related quests[]


The Sierra Madre Casino & Resort appears only in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Dead Money.

Behind the scenes[]

The chandelier in the resort's lobby was modeled by Megan Parks.[10]



  1. Dead Money intro begins with a slide of the Grand Canyon and transitions to a slide of the Sierra Madre
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sierra Madre Casino terminal entries; Vault control terminal, To Vera
  3. Elijah: "You inside. Can you hear me? Power's fluctuating... emergency power. Oh! You are in. Good... thought that might be the end of you. Unfortunately, your... "friends" also found their way here. Knocked unconscious... just like you. Wondering what happened? You were hit by casino security. Detects anything foreign - radioactive, it subdues the "visitor," moves them if needed. Hnh... getting interference from old recordings... the guests who were trapped here... eh, shut that noise off... Looks like the casino moved your "friends" around once inside... might be useful. Or not. Wonder if they came to help or kill you. Still... My signal should work through the speakers, now that you're inside. Heh, heh! Welcome to the Sierra Madre, in all its glory. This is what the Old World stood for, even with bombs about to rain down on them. Now look at it. Beautiful... now its guests are all dead. Better this way. Quiet. How the Mojave should be. Now - with the casino sleeping, it's got places closed off - won't let you go yet. We'll get there, trust me, just need to wake it up."
    (Elijah's dialogue)
  4. Sierra Madre Casino terminal entries; Hologram Control, Sinclair: E.B.E.
  5. Z-38 lightwave dynamics research terminal entries; Terminal, Requisition Order: Holograms
  6. Elijah: "_ Casino's woken up, paying attention to us. Good. Wondering what happened to your team...? Looks like they got moved to other floors. Interesting, maybe that's why... hmmm, yes... yes. Perhaps the casino recognized specific guests... or guests with a voice or look close enough for them to be... assigned to that floor. We'll see. Had hoped with the power restored, the systems would fully awaken... especially the sound archives. But no... your teammates' collars on each floor are interfering with the systems. It's the white noise filters embedded in their construction... they're blocking the casino speakers, the music. You'll need to recalibrate... or destroy... each collar. To do that, you need to get close, re-set the signal - or blow their heads off. I'll leave the choice up to you - my preference? End them now. They're of no use. After all, it's safe to kill them now, provided you make it quick. You see, the collars don't work inside the Sierra Madre... well, between floors. Else, I'd set off the collars, be done with it. So find them, deal with them, as long as you're fast and can get off the floor after killing them. The floors... whatever they lined this place with, interferes with the collar frequency... so if you kill them, you should have some time to run. Uh... just not sure how long, may not be consistent. More... less... whatever, it doesn't matter. What we need is in the basement, we need to go to the top first and ride our fortunes down. After we deal with your team on the other floors."
    (Elijah's dialogue)
  7. Dean Domino's blackmail evidence
  8. Villa clinic terminal entries; Terminal, Appointment Calendar
  9. Sierra Madre vault terminal entries; Vault control terminal, Sinclair's personal accounts
  10. Megan Parks' portfolio

The Cloud[]

This section is transcluded from Cloud. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.

Created as an experiment by the executives of Big MT, the Cloud is a product of research conducted at the Z-43 innovative toxins plant. When the Madre owner, Frederick Sinclair came to Big MT for technology to add to his resort, he unwittingly signed a Faustian pact: along with holograms and matter recombinators, the Big MT scientists also conducted tests of the Cloud's lethality at the Sierra Madre, using the casino, villa and its inhabitants as guinea pigs in its experiments.[1] Sinclair likely saw no other way to get the technology he needed, as he was already teetering on the brink of bankruptcy when he started negotiating with the executives. Of course, he was not informed that he would be receiving more than just harmless prototypes.[2] The Sierra Madre was the only testing ground that was protected by the Cloud, which was hardly a prize.[3]

The Cloud manifested itself for the first time when the cheap villa ventilation system ground to a halt, a victim of cutting corners and Mr. Yesterday's dubious practices. The pipes backed up, spewing out the red cloud. Workers in the area started choking and vomiting. Hospitalized in the villa clinic, the damage to their health was extensive enough to put them out of commission for good.[4]

To deal with the problem, Sinclair negotiated with the Big MT executives for yet another technology: The Darklight hazmat suits.[1] Although considered creepy by the maintenance crews, they allowed the crews to explore the ventilation system and try, in vain, to identify the source of the Cloud.[5]

The teams managed to find the source of the problem in the main ventilation pipe. However, traces of the dust cloud were present and eroded the metal of the suit's locks, exposing them to the Cloud and sealing them within.[6] The crewmen retreated and headed to the villa clinic to get medical attention. Much to the displeasure of the attending physicians, they cut themselves out of the suits with steak knives.[7][8]

However, despite the problems, the ventilation system was eventually restored to barely functional order. When the Great War hit shortly afterward, it continued to work for a few more years, before finally giving up the ghost. The Cloud gradually seeped into the area, climbing out of the damaged vents, eventually blanketing the area, blotting out the sun.[9][10] It became a grim, uncompromising guardian of its secrets. The maintenance crews who donned their hazmat suits and tried to fight it, succumbed to its effects, mutating and becoming the violent, savage guardians of the Sierra Madre.[11]

For centuries, the Cloud protected the casino and the villa, killing scavengers or weakening them so that they would become another victim of the tribe inhabiting it, the hazmat suited ghost people. It wasn't until the 23rd century that it became important once more. Father Elijah, a disgraced Brotherhood of Steel elder, learned of its existence from Ulysses. It inspired him.[12] When preliminary samples taken from air on the edges of the Sierra Madre yielded promising results, he set up a chemistry set to allow it to replenish itself and traveled to the Madre in person, to perform research onsite.[13]

Upon further research, Elijah decided to weaponize the Cloud as a weapon of mass destruction, to wipe the slate clean. It was intended to be used to reclaim the Mojave and destroy the New California Republic. He also plans to use it as an offensive technology, unleashing it upon the Mojave, cutting it off from the rest of the world. He could then use modified REPCONN rockets to push out both the New California Republic and Caesar's Legion at Hoover Dam, and finally, let traces of it drift west to NCR territory.[14][15][16]


  • On the side of the Nevada Highway Patrol station, graffiti is scrawled which reads "I wish I was at the Sierra Madre", with a crying 'sad-face' painted next to it. This appears whether Dead Money has been installed or not.
  • Spray painted on a Corvega billboard across from Junction 15 railway station is the legend "Gone to Sierra Madre!" Nearby, written on the back of an elevated Lucky 38 billboard closer to Sloan, is the phrase, "Left my heart in the Sierra Madre."
  • In the abandoned BoS bunker there is a message saying "Gone to Sierra Madre" on the shack wall before going down the stairs. There is also graffiti that says "Seera Madre" above the first door in the bunker.
  • In the east pump station there is a poster on the wall next to the lockers saying "Sierra Madre" with a woman relaxing in an evening gown, with the words "Begin..... Again" written on it. Also in the station are two postcard-sized versions on a bulletin board next to the computer terminal on the desk. The postcards are of the woman with the cocktail and also the woman relaxing.
  • There is also a poster of the Sierra Madre located in the Monte Carlo Suites.
  • God says that the air in the Sierra Madre "tastes like copper or old world gold".
  • Once the quest "Trigger the Gala Event" has been completed, a nuclear siren will be heard in the Sierra Madre for the rest of the add-on.
  • The New California Republic has a military accolade named the Star of Sierra Madre.[17]


The Sierra Madre appears only in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Dead Money, and is mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas and Old World Blues.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The Sierra Madre is a reference to B. Traven's 1927 Western novel, and later the 1948 film directed by John Huston, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
  • The Madre look (a combination of Art Deco and Mission Revival) was conceived by Joe Sanabria and implemented by James Garcia.[18][19]
  • The level has many connections to Abbot Kinney, the designer of Venice, California. Kinney suffered from tuberculosis (attributed to a miasma through much of human history) and constructed a sanitarium, the Sierra Madre Villa Hotel in the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve. It was common for sufferers of tuberculosis to seek treatment in dry climates at the time. Additionally, Kinney's ghost is said to haunt Venice.[20]
  • "Sierra Madre" translates from Spanish to "mother mountain range."



  1. 1.0 1.1 Z-43 Innovative Toxins plant terminals, terminal, Requisition Order: Chemical Suits
  2. Y-0 research center terminals, terminal, Dispenser Funding Update
  3. The Courier: "I don't understand how an Old World casino helps you do any of that."
    Elijah: "The Cloud is unique in my travels. Its proximity to the Sierra Madre isn't a coincidence. Right now it protects this casino, preserves it. It can be used to preserve other Old World relics - and cleanse them, at the same time. And as much as I've researched hologram technology, the Big Empty facility was clear - only the Sierra Madre got Holograms working... properly."
    (Elijah's dialogue)
  4. Puesta del Sol switching station terminals, terminal, Status Report
  5. Puesta del Sol switching station terminals, terminal, Suits are here
  6. Puesta del Sol switching station terminals, terminal, Maintenance Report
  7. Puesta del Sol switching station terminals, terminal, Suit Damage
  8. Villa clinic terminals, terminal, Safety Suits
  9. The Courier: "Tell me about the Cloud."
    Dean Domino: "The Cloud? Showed up after the Bomb. I think. I got used to it in small doses. Now, it covers the city. Over the years, it kept climbing up out of the Sierra Madre, until it was curtains for the sun. Didn't see the sky again. Doesn't seem to bother the Ghost People. Can't see through it too well, though, so sometimes I can use the Cloud for cover... if I get desperate."
    (Dean Domino's dialogue)
  10. Dean Domino: "Cloud wasn't always here. Grew over the years, even without cars or factories."
    (Dean Domino's dialogue)
  11. Salida del Sol terminals, terminal, Infrastructure
  12. Little Yangtze terminals, Little Yangtze log terminal, Elijah's Journal - Day 3
  13. Abandoned BoS bunker terminal entries; terminal, Science Entry 112
  14. Elijah win ending of Dead Money
  15. The Courier: "I can't argue that."
    Elijah: "Sources of food, supplies... medical assistance, ammo... make more collars, even print currency. Make a nation. The Cloud allows me to wipe the slate clean. Collars ensure cooperation. Holograms - defense. The Vending Machines provide... everything else. The Sierra Madre can kill nations and build them, using its technology with the right applications."
    (Elijah's dialogue)
  16. The Courier: "You want to attack NCR? All of NCR?"
    Elijah: "Attack? No, not attack them. Wipe the slate clean. Make the Mojave like it was meant to be... undisturbed by man. I'll send the Cloud, the Holograms. Bring ruin in my hands until only I stand atop the HELIOS One tower again. I'll scour Hoover Dam with the Cloud, rain its walls with spears from the sun... with an army of Old World ghosts behind me, Holograms all. I'll kill them until it's only me, me alone... in a quiet world. In a world that's nothing like what happened at HELIOS One."
    (Elijah's dialogue)
  17. President Kimball: "Private First Class Jeremy Watson, on behalf of the senate and people of the New California Republic, it is my honor to present you with the Star of Sierra Madre."
    (Aaron Kimball's dialogue)
  18. Formspring
  19. James Garcia's portfolio
  20. eastofallen