The Tops Hotel and Casino was one of the foremost establishments of the Las Vegas Strip before the Great War. Though damaged by the War, it was restored by Robert House and the Chairmen to its former glory, becoming a mainstay of Strip casino visits by 2281.
Opening alongside the Ultra-Luxe, the Tops quickly became a centerpiece of the Strip before the War. It was well known for its comprehensive coverage of all of its patron's needs, offering great accommodations, dancing, drinks, and plenty of gambling, though one of its most prominent features was the Aces Theater, constantly attracting fresh talent to entertain its patrons.
After the Great War, the casino was abandoned. Spared nuclear devastation, it remained empty for two centuries. Things changed in 2274 when House detected the first NCR forces at Hoover Dam. The Lucky 38 opened and securitrons deployed to the city en masse. The tribes were offered a choice: Extermination, resettlement or working for House. The future Chairmen, the Boot Riders, were approached east of Vegas by a Securitron. After initial miscommunication (and the deployment of twenty more), they listened to what House had to offer. That included food, shelter, and medical services. Most of the tribe was against the deal. Benny was all for it. Bingo, the tribe chief, challenged Benny to a knife fight over their disagreement as to the course the tribe should take. The fight took place three days after House made contact. Benny emerged victorious.
The tribe moved to Vegas and began renovating the Tops, bringing it back to life. As they worked, a number of House's Securitrons dropped off boxes with suits, ties, and wingtip shoes, together with a message from their employer announcing they were the Chairmen now. The tribe hated the name, but Benny overrode their decision. As he put it, it was "ciao to the old ways and time to swing in style." By 2281, the Tops returned to its role as the mainstay of the Strip, offering everything one could desire and teaching its patrons how to truly enjoy the finer aspects of life. It was a true classic Vegas experience, with cool, hip, fun, and macho posturing to entice those with a sense of style.[Non-canon 1] Most importantly, the legendary Aces Theater was brought back to life by Tommy Torini, giving a venue for talents from all over the wasteland to perform.
But the Tops was not enough for Benny. Although he was groomed as a protege by Mr. House, he did not share his employer's views on Vegas. He saw the city as a potential for independent power, not answering to the NCR, the Legion, or House. The Tops became his stronghold, where he planned how to overthrow Mr. House, protected by the contract which expressly forbade Securitrons from entering the premises without invitation or probable cause. To this end, he hijacked a Securitron and set up a workshop in one of the suites on the 13th floor, where he and Emily Ortal conceived Yes Man, a covert tap into House's vast electronic network. Now all that was needed was the right opportunity.
The Tops is a casino right out of Vegas's rat-pack era. Frank Sinatra's music plays softly in the background to the clinks of slot machines. Security is tight, with Chairmen out front to collect patrons' weapons before they step inside. The weapons will be automatically returned to the player character's inventory when they leave and the player character has the option to hide holdout weapons if they can pass the required Sneak check. There are six main areas with loading screens between them: the casino, restaurant, Aces theater, presidential suite, courtyard, and the 13th floor.
Lobby and casino
There is a circular desk in the lobby where Swank can usually be found. Beyond it is the casino proper, with a main hall to the right as one enters and a smaller section just behind the main staircase. Beyond the stairs and the smaller casino section is the elevator bank, which has a single working elevator that leads to the 13th floor, and a door to the courtyard. In the large hall is the entrance to the restaurant and an express elevator to the presidential suite, which requires a key.
On the second level, just up the main staircase on the left, is a cashier where the player character can change chips for cash and vice-versa. Right next to the cashier is the entrance to the Aces theater.
A bartender sells an assortment of drinks. There's a kitchen behind an Average locked door, which has food and alcohol including five bottles of Nuka-Cola Quartz. A door leads to the courtyard from here.
The Aces theater
The 13th floor contains a variety of nondescript rooms with Average locks, Benny's suite, and the High Roller suite. There are at least five Average locked doors on this floor.
The High Roller suite is a slightly larger room than the rest and contains some minor loot. Entering requires the High Roller's suite key, which can be obtained by winning enough chips in the casino (see the "gambling" section). This is not a good place to use as housing, as the guards on the floor will enter the suite once the door is unlocked and take any consumables that are in the room.
Benny's suite is in the center of the hallway, through the double doors. Benny's suite door has an Average lock, which may be picked or opened using a key obtained from Benny or one of his henchmen. The room itself has minor loot, but the big attraction is a rough hole in the wall that connects to Benny's secret workshop, where the player character can find Yes Man and begin the Wild Card questline.
At the end of the main hallway, the very last locked door leads to the High Roller suite. This lock cannot be picked. The key is obtained from the floor manager by winning a minimum of 7,500 chips in the casino.
Beyond Benny's workshop is a hallway with an elevator used by Benny as an emergency escape route. The elevator requires a key to access, but there is no key that opens it in the game. A script unlocks the elevator when Benny begins to flee The Tops (such as if the player attacks him in the lobby), and a different script locks it again if he succeeds in reaching it.
The behavior of this script can be exploited to gain access to the sub-basement by causing Benny to flee, and killing him before he can reach the sub-basement elevator. Once Benny is dead, the sub-basement elevator will then be unlocked. With Benny unable to reach it to trigger the re-locking portion of the script, it can be safely restored.
The sub-basement itself is a small room with a breached wall leading into a sealed-off section of Vault 21. It contains some minor loot in lockers and several explosives crates. There are numerous inaccessible doors, and one locked door with no available key at the end of a corridor that can be unlocked with console commands.
- The Tops offers Blackjack, Roulette and Slots.
- The Tops pays 3:2 on Blackjack, and the dealer must stand on all 17s.
- Rewards and ban
As the player character earns chips, the floor manager will offer increasingly valuable gifts, culminating in a complimentary suite.
After the player character earns 10,000+ chips, they will be banned from playing games in The Tops. They can still use its other functions, such as the restaurant, the theater, and cashing out their chips, but they cannot win any more money in the Tops; the ban is permanent.
Main floor and restaurant
- Five Nuka-Cola Quartz - In the kitchen of the restaurant.
- Benny's suit and Maria - Worn/carried by Benny.
- As each act in the Talent Pool quest is recruited, their name and talent appear on the marquee outside of the casino.
- On the main floor, there is a framed picture of Tenpenny Tower and what appears to be a person dressed in cowboy-like attire. The figure is standing on the east side of the tower holding out a rifle.
- There are some posters of "Dean Domino and His Great Orchestra" in the building, referring to Dean Domino from the Dead Money add-on.
- The Tops Courtyard seems to have an architectural anomaly in relation to the casino's exterior Strip view. There is a huge brick wall, used to block the view of the Gomorrah, which spans around the side of the casino. Yet when on the Strip, such a wall is not even present.
- Certain unused tables in the gambling halls suggest that at one time the casino used to offer the gambling game Craps.
- There is a poster advertising the Gomorrah near the front door.
- According to a newspaper seen in the Gomorrah, it was called "TOPS" before the War.
- The framed newspaper clipped to the right of the entrance doors in the lobby contains an error, referring to The Ultra-Luxe as "The Ultra Lux."
- If patch 1.1.0 is installed, there will be a wall separating the reception area and the casino floor.
- Mr. New Vegas says that the Tops is "fully renovated by the Chairmen."
The piped-in music consists of the following tracks. For music used in the show performances, see The Aces.
- "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"
- "Blue Moon"
- "Hallo Mister X"
- "Jingle, Jangle, Jingle"
- "Slow Bounce"
- "Something's Gotta Give"
- "Why Don't You Do Right?"
The Tops Hotel and Casino appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- In The Aces theater, there are three entertainers called the RAD Pack. This is a reference to the famous Vegas group of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and Dean Martin. This quintet was called the Rat Pack during its years of fame in the early 1960s. The in-game version could be a double entendre, both mimicking this group and incorporating a radiation pun, similar to Mr. RADical.
- The Tops is similar in appearance to both the real world Sands Hotel and Casino and the Mint Las Vegas. The Sands hosted the real world Rat Pack. In 1996, the Sands was demolished and the Venetian was built in its place.
- Benny's suite is on the thirteenth floor. This floor number is considered unlucky, and many hotels and apartment buildings deliberately do not assign a floor this number.
- James Garcia created the 3D model of The Tops neon sign.[Non-canon 2]
- In the casino, there is a void that will teleport the player character into the regular areas of Vault 21. It was intended as an escape passage that Benny could use if confronted in the Tops.[Non-canon 3]
- The locked Average door in the restaurant can become bugged, and no lock is shown. The lockpick mini game can still be played, however, you will not be able to see the lock nor the bobby pin.[verified]
- The player sometimes doesn't get their stashed weapons back when exiting.[verified]
- If the player dismisses companions while inside The Tops and tells them to return to the Lucky 38, they may walk toward the front doors but never exit. Instead, they remain waiting in The Tops lobby. To fix get the companion to re-join you, exit The Tops, then dismiss them again once you are both outside of the casino. They will then walk to the Lucky 38.[verified]
- caps, the messages "added X caps" and "removed X chips" are displayed, but no chips are removed and no caps are added. To fix exchange chips into Legion/NCR money, then exchange Legion/NCR money into caps at another casino.[verified] When exchanging chips into
- Sometimes one of the Chairmen will have no head, but his mouth, eyes, and hair will be floating above his suit.[verified]
- On the 13th floor, if you drag a corpse into the corridor behind Yes Man's room it will become invisible.[verified]
- Taking the elevator to and from the 13th floor sometimes causes the screen to go black after loading.[verified]
- Sometimes when entering The Tops there will be a glitch where almost every door in The Tops has an Average lock on it and some random places in the wasteland will too (e.g. ovens, random containers, etc.) Also, they will sometimes lock again as soon as you unlock them.[verified]
- Sometimes when entering The Tops there will be a glitch where you will get stuck entering the main floor.[verified]
- If you obtain 32768 The Tops Chips and then drop them, it will appear as -32768 The Tops Chips. Upon turning in your chips, you will still have the option to turn in your chips, effectively allowing for infinite caps.[verified]
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition pp. 343-345: "[2D.04] The Tops Casino
The Tops offers a classic Vegas experience, with cool, hip, fun, and macho posturing to entice those with a sense of style. This is a place for manly men with a dame on each arm; here to see the Rad Pack as they perform their routine "The Four Taps" over at the Ace Theater. Choose a fine wine, order the Brahmin stake rare, and have a good time, baby! The place is run by The Chairmen, who talk tough, but most of them don't take things too seriously; they're just too cool and laid back to let anything get to them. Well, all but one of them...."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
- James Garcia's portfolio
- The Frog Helms Fan Club:
Question: "Another question because I have nothing better to do, apologies if it's been asked before, in New Vegas, in the Tops casino, there is an elevator that takes you to an unfinished section of Vault 21. You as a player are very clearly not supposed to be there, however it looks like it could have served some purpose at one point? Were there ever anymore plans for the lower levels of that Vault?"
Joshua Sawyer: "No. That’s the “escape passage” that Benny can use if confronted in the Tops. It was just there to explain that bit."