| ||This page is about the package courier. For the AI overseer of the Big Empty, see ODYSSEUS.|
Ulysses is a courier and former frumentarius of Caesar's Legion. In 2281, he was one of six couriers hired by Victor to carry strange packages to the Strip North Gate, but his delivery was left to the Courier after Ulysses' mysterious disappearance. He serves as the main antagonist of Lonesome Road.
Ulysses was once a member of the Twisted Hairs, a powerful tribe in Arizona that forged an alliance with the fledgling Caesar's Legion in 2247, becoming its scouts during the conquest of Arizona. Ulysses was one of the most successful scouts in the Twisted Hairs, traveling vast distances in search of the enemies of both Caesar's Legion and the Twisted Hairs. However, once the Legion's campaign ended in Arizona, Caesar promptly rewarded their aid by breaking the alliance and betraying them: conquering and enslaving them as he had done to all the other tribes of Arizona. Their tribal identity was erased, and those who resisted were crucified along the sides of Interstate 40.
Vulpes Inculta's pacification of Dry Wells was a particularly painful moment for Ulysses, though his dedication to Caesar and the flag of the Bull prevented his desertion. Thanks to his ability and his forceful personality, he quickly became an important, indispensable frumentarius of Caesar's Legion, walking the wastes as a courier. Caesar told him to kill no other member of this profession since many couriers were, in fact, members of the Legion. In 2274, after the NCR reached Hoover Dam, Ulysses crossed the Colorado and was the first among the Legion to see both the Dam and the NCR: a nation great enough to challenge Caesar. Returning across the Colorado, Ulysses went back to Caesar and spoke with him about Hoover Dam and the NCR. This Old World symbol became an object of obsession for Caesar, a great symbol to focus his people on. Ulysses, however, believed Hoover Dam might kill Caesar, whether he won or lost.
Ulysses continued to walk the wastes, exploring the wastelands for Caesar. Between 2274 and 2277, Ulysses discovered a community called "The Divide" which was, in his own words, "a nation taking its first breath," surrounded and shaped by the symbols of the Old World. Ulysses believed this place had the potential to become a homeland for him, and a second chance, a new way of thinking outside of the rigid discipline of the Legion. To Ulysses' dismay, the prosperous community was discovered and annexed by NCR, which drew the attention of Caesar, who sent in a small army to conquer it and cut the NCR's supply line to the Mojave and Hoover Dam. Ulysses had tentative plans to save the community, but, before he could act, the Courier, hired by the NCR, brought a package containing a mysterious device from Navarro, before departing.
Ulysses was fascinated by the package, bearing the sigil of pre-War America, but also one he had never seen before. This device turned out to be a messenger of destruction: someone activated the device, which began "speaking" and activated several of the nuclear warheads still underground in their silos since the Great War. The results were immediate and devastating; deep below Hopeville and Ashton, the warheads' detonations shook the land, destroyed the settlement and killed most of the NCR and Legion soldiers.
This disaster nearly killed Ulysses, but he was saved by several medical eyebots, who had also been activated by the copy of ED-E; he speculated that this was because they had recognized the flag of America on his back. Ulysses' life was changed that day, which showed him how a single individual could change history, or erase it. As a survivor of the Divide, he held the Courier responsible for the destruction of the place that he believed could have been his true home, "larger than the Bear, greater than the Bull." At the same time, it inspired him. In 2277, he returned to Caesar, learning that the First Battle of Hoover Dam ended in the defeat of Caesar's Legion.
Caesar sent Ulysses to the Great Salt Lake as his emissary, to rally the White Legs against New Canaan and watch over them as they undertook Caesar's test: to cut off the NCR supply lines running through Utah, and to destroy New Canaan, killing the still-living Joshua Graham along with it. He became their mentor; the White Legs called him the "Flag-Bearer" for the flag staff he carried. He taught them the values of the Legion, showed them numerous supply caches and bunkers hidden across Utah (like Spanish Fork) that gave them the weapons that they became known for, all the while lying about Caesar's pride in those who used such weapons. The act of deceit posed some problems in his mind; he compared himself to Vulpes Inculta, the man who had betrayed his former tribe. He was an inspiring presence, but not in the way he wanted to be; the White Legs began to honor him instead of the Legion. After the plundering of New Canaan, he observed that the White Legs began to braid their hair into dreadlocks, as he did. For them, it was a sign of respect for their mentor; for Ulysses, it was a hollow mockery of the ways of his destroyed tribe, the Twisted Hairs, because the significance of the braids was completely unknown to the White Legs.
Shortly after the destruction of New Canaan, Ulysses finished his duties to Caesar and left the White Legs to their own devices. He set out looking for ways to change history himself, and find a way to reawaken America, seeing it as having peaceful yet strong places like the Divide before its destruction, and thinking that the NCR and the Caesar's Legion had no long-term answer for the future of humanity. He retired to Wolfhorn Ranch for a time, to collect his thoughts, appearing to be a successful bighorner rancher  and roaming, sometimes as a courier.
Some time later, during his mission to reawaken America, he found Big MT by following the weather patterns, knowing the Divide's storms were caused by man, not nature. He tracked it like following a river current, leaving painted emblems matching the flag on his back in case he lost his way, or as a trail for any who might follow, like the Courier. Ulysses finally came to the crater, where he found the Old World facility and the X-17 meteorological station still active.
While there, he was caught up in the conflict between Knight Royce of the Circle of Steel and Father Elijah. At some point after Elijah spoke with the Think Tank, Ulysses and Elijah made contact. He directed the rogue elder to the Sierra Madre, apparently knowing it would eventually become Elijah's grave. Ulysses would then rescue Royce from the Y-17 medical facility, nursing her back to health in a nearby cave. From Christine, he learned more about the Brotherhood of Steel, enough to decide the Brotherhood was not able to forge the future he wanted to live in.
Ulysses spoke with the Think Tank, specifically Doctor Klein, who recalls him as a melancholy fellow who asked a lot about history. Ulysses also spoke with Doctor Mobius. While at the Big Empty, he questioned the Think Tank: "Who are you, that do not know your history?" This question caused them to awaken and remember that, for a time, America, the flag of which was displayed on Ulysses' back, was not just a flag, but a place, an idea that they had cared for once before. After this awakening, the Think Tank told him what "still carries America's voice," deep in the heart of the Divide: the "Divide giants" - nuclear missile silos scattered across the ravaged landscape and the device still there to activate them. Whether by their own hand or Mobius', the Think Tank's memory of Ulysses' question was later erased, to perpetuate their stay in Big MT. Ulysses departed, deciding to reshape the post-apocalyptic world single-handedly, much like the Courier reshaped the Divide.
In 2281, Ulysses was hired by Victor to carry the platinum chip to the Strip's North Gate. He came to Primm at the Mojave Express to receive the delivery order, and was about to accept the job until he saw the Courier's name on the list. He asked Johnson Nash if the Courier's name was genuine, since he thought the Courier had died at the Divide. Nash informed him the Courier was still alive. Wanting to see the Courier dead, but obeying Caesar's old order, Ulysses said "No, let Courier Six carry the package," expecting the Mojave Wasteland to kill the Courier without having to intervene and, after that, he returned to The Divide without another word.
Eventually, Ulysses broadcasted a simple message intended for the Courier: the coordinates for the canyon wreckage west of Primm, and the words "Courier Six. -Ulysses," wanting to destroy the Courier's new home before their eyes, as the Courier did for him with the Divide.
Ulysses' dual obsessions with the Courier and the Divide are motivated by several factors. He is the only unmutated survivor of the disaster at the Divide, and because it was (from Ulysses' point of view, that is) the Courier who caused the destruction of the community, Ulysses came to believe in the impact that a single person can have on history. The Courier is not even aware of having been involved in the event, as was hinted at by Chris Avellone before the release of Lonesome Road. He stated, cryptically:
Interactions with the player characterEdit
- The Job: After having completed The Silo, Ulysses will contact the Courier through ED-E and tell them to come find him.
- The Courier: Ulysses is finally confronted by the Courier inside Ulysses' Temple, beneath the flag of the Old World, as he is about to trigger a second nuclear apocalypse. Ulysses can either be fought by the Courier, or convinced to stand down and fight by the Courier's side against the marked men invading the temple.
Effects of player's actionsEdit
- If Ulysses is killed by the Courier, the Courier tears down his Old World flag and uses it as a shroud, although whether out of respect or anger is an interpretation "best left to history."
- If Ulysses is convinced not to fight the Courier, by means of two Speech checks of 90 and 100 or by talking to him about his logs, or by obtaining all ED-E upgrades in the Divide and talking to him about ED-E's logs, he can be found sitting vigil above the Hopeville ruins, just at the entrance to the Divide.
- If Ulysses lives, after the quest The End or The Apocalypse, he can be found near the entrance to the canyon wreckage, where he will help the Courier make campfire recipes. Ulysses will also present new dialogue options, such as giving hints at how to deal with Legate Lanius and commenting on possible previous in-game actions in the Mojave (e.g. killing Mr. House).
- Ulysses will also supply the Courier with miscellaneous items he found in Hopeville (The Courier's Mile), including rockets, Rad-X, RadAway, MREs, and pre-War books.
- If he is alive at the conclusion of Lonesome Road, he will offer both the history and recipes of the bitter drink and the snakebite tourniquet.
12.7mm submachine gun
Frag grenade x6
Stealth Boy x2
- Even though Ulysses is no longer a member of Caesar's Legion, and thinks the Legion has taken the wrong path, he still considers Legion members to be "brothers," and says "Caesar" in the classical Latin pronunciation favored by the Legion, unlike Joshua Graham, who uses the general English pronunciation.
- Intentional or not, Ulysses shares many traits with Joshua Graham. Both are serious, erudite men, who are fond of quoting others. They use their deep voices to speak in a bookish manner with a philosophical bent. Both were skilled members of Caesar's Legion and mentors of a tribe. Both have also committed acts incongruous with their moral outrage at perceived atrocities perpetrated by others.
- Ulysses' red, white and blue spray-painted flags can be found in many locations in Big MT and the Divide and were left by Ulysses while tracking storms, in hopes that the marks might be followed and someone else could discern a pattern. Within the Divide, the red color indicates hostile areas, white marks the proper pathways, and blue denotes hidden caches.
- Ulysses created holotape logs and left them along the road to the Divide. These can be found by the Courier, and were apparently a gift from Christine Royce for saving her.
- His face is a unique model linked to his unique breathing mask and differing greatly from other human character models (i.e. he doesn't blink, he has a unique hairstyle, and his texture is more detailed).
- After taking the duster and mask from his corpse, his dead body will still be wearing them.
- Since his face is fully textured beneath his breathing mask, it can only be viewed in-game via external manipulation. His lips don't move when he speaks, and no part of his face is animated.
- Ulysses is one of only three characters in the game to have 10 points in all the SPECIAL stats (the other two are Colonel Royez and Gaius Magnus, from the same add-on Ulysses is physically featured in). The only other non-player character in the Fallout series known to have no less than ten points in all SPECIAL attributes is Frank Horrigan in Fallout 2.
- Like Colonel Royez and Gaius Magnus, Ulysses is impervious to knockdown attacks, such as the Ranger Takedown move or the special attack of the bumper sword. Because he cannot be knocked down, he simply freezes in place when he suffers a critical hit from the Compliance Regulator.
- Ulysses is 15% faster than a normal human character and the game's only human character with more than 1000 health points.
- Ulysses can be seen in various places in Lonesome Road, briefly watching the Courier and then walking away. This can be seen on top floor of the still standing base of The Crow's Nest and in the building south of the Sunstone Tower roof.
- The Ulysses that stalks the Courier has a separate ref ID and cannot take damage or be killed via console commands.
- Ulysses is one of the very few non-hostile NPCs in the Divide. The others being ED-E and the medical eyebots.
- After Ulysses sides with the Courier, he becomes invincible while in the missile silo; when reduced to 0 hit points he will instantly regain full health instead of dying or falling unconscious.
- Ulysses has a somewhat positive view on Joshua Graham, commenting that "Graham earned his life" and that no real good would come of killing him.
- Ulysses has a very dim view on Mr. House, commenting that he is "best left buried with the Old World."
- He is one of the very few characters that cannot be pickpocketed. Attempting to do when he is at the pass to canyon wreckage will simply initiate conversation instead.
- "They only take what parts they find in the Divide, never roam beyond it - can't even leave the silos without a human to shadow, like hounds. Maybe they saw the flag on my jacket, thought I was of America. If so, history saved me. A sign. "
- "You came all this way for answers. Only currency I have."
- "You got lives in you, hard to kill. Storm, bullets, sand and wind, yet still you walk. For now."
- "Missile silos exploded from beneath the ground, cracked the landscape. Sand, ash... the dead... the Divide skies became a graveyard."
- "No need to destroy the bear. Just cut its throat."
- "America sleeps ahead of you, its nightmares filled with quakes, storms. You'll need to find your own path."
- "Who are you, that do not know your history?"
- "To the Divide they came... in the Divide, they rest."
- "Burn away the flags. Begin again."
- "No need for bombs, when hate will do."
- "My history isn't revenge, or hate. The road that brought us both here - isn't about that."
- "The Divide... this place is a slice of it. Old military. Can still smell the pride. And the fear. Hope of the old world, wrapped in fencing, covered in storm."
- "Road gets rougher from here, Courier. Left marks for you - colors'll tell the way - if you're smart. They'll lead you to your home one more time, lead to the ending of it - maybe remind you why you wander."
- "Home isn't where you're born into this world."
- "Don't need Old World medicine to kill you."
- "You have forgotten all you were, traded glory for savagery. Fitting."
- "If war doesn't change, men must change, and so must their symbols. Even if it is nothing at all, know what you follow, Courier..."
- "If you feel its loss... remember you could have turned away at any time. Gone back home, and none of this would have happened. But you had to make one last delivery, and that's why I knew you'd come, Courier. Couldn't stay away, it's who you are."
- "The day I set my flag down, it'll be over my body or over a nation I believe in."
- "There is a shadow of a nation behind you, the hope of a people... yet it may not matter. The Divide still stands against us. [...] Our enemies gather outside... shadows of the Bear and Bull... they will have found their way in, just as you did. It was always my intention - in case I could not kill you, the Marked Men would flood this place, cut off your escape. If we cannot prevent what comes, then let us make our stand here. Two Couriers, together, at the Divide."
- "Before you... this is the edge of the Divide. Ahead lies your work, the history you burned in the earth. What you brought to the people here."
- "You gave it a name. What was it to you? Companion? Slave... weapon? All of that, nothing compared to its primary function. It's a messenger. Like us... and it shares our history."
- "My family? My tribe lives... its history? Died long ago, fell under the shadow of the Bull... consumed by another symbol. No, this isn't about family - or any common blood. It's blood shared by acts, not by chance."
- "There's a lesson here, in the Divide. Old World history about paving and intentions could teach the Republic a thing or two - if they listened. They have an idea of trying to do what's right, never quite getting there. [...] They're stretched thin, can't protect their frontlines, their towns. Think paper's power, radio means control. All of it? Useless."
- "Not if you believe in what you follow. Kill no Courier, Caesar's words. I honored them. Other Couriers could have been Legion - like me. The truth is, you serve nothing, believe nothing. Killing you... meaningless."
- "All these roads, you walked. These packages you carried. Think it wasn't your choice? Of course it was your choice. You could have stayed in the Mojave. But you chose to come, couldn't let be - not in you to let go. Came for no other reason than you were curious, restless - always have been. Had to know the why of it - now, I'll show you."
- "You don't see, listen - even when it's all around you, no matter if I nailed it into your head like a gift from Caesar."
Ulysses was originally supposed to appear in Fallout: New Vegas, but was cut from the final version of the game. He is mentioned indirectly in Fallout: New Vegas, Dead Money and Honest Hearts, appears in voice in Old World Blues and makes a full appearance in Lonesome Road.
Behind the scenesEdit
- During the first dialogue with the ED-E clone, it is told that Ulysses was given his name later in life. It was meant to refer to Ulysses S. Grant, a Union general during the U.S. Civil War who Ulysses says "fought to unite two tribes under one flag." The Courier can even comment that Ulysses' namesake was the historical general as opposed to the figure of Greek mythology.
- Ulysses is a figure from Roman and Greek folklore. The Greeks named him "Odysseus."
- If siding with NCR (or killing Caesar and haven't failed Don't Tread on the Bear!), when talking to Ulysses through ED-E the first time, he'll refer to the Two-headed bear not being the first historic American symbol. He explains that the "Old World" symbol had one head. This is reference to the current real-world Flag of California, from the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846, which is the same as the NCR flag but the bear has one head and the inscription is "CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC" instead of "NEW CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC."
- Ulysses was originally supposed to be a companion in Fallout: New Vegas, but was cut from the final version of the game and now appears only in the add-on Lonesome Road and playing cards that came with the Collector's Edition. According to Chris Avellone, "he [...] was a complicated character in terms of some of the hooks into the storyline".
- In the original version of Fallout: New Vegas, Ulysses-as-companion was designed with a number of goals in mind:
- He had to reinforce the faction reputation mechanic, which Avellone thought was one of the key mechanics in the game.
- He had to react strongly to NCR/Legion conflict and the Courier's role in it, acting as a sounding board when possible.
- He had to be a Legion sympathetic character and explain Legion back story elements, since there wasn't much Legion support in the companions.
- He had to continually remind the player of Hoover Dam as the focus, and his backstory incorporated that (he was the frumentarius who discovered the Dam and NCR long ago).
- Showcase myth elements. Ulysses was big about symbols, and his take on the NCR flag, the Legion flag was also reflected in their champions (he viewed Legate Lanius as an Eastern myth in the making, and he felt the Courier could achieve that same mythological status for the West or for the Mojave).
- He was to complement the cool visual design changes that Joshua Sawyer had included for other companions (similar to Raul Tejada and Arcade Gannon, Ulysses would have the vest/flag changes, except it would depend on Courier's end faction allegiance when they completed Ulysses' vision quest).
- ↑ Dialogue with Johnson Nash and Christine Royce in the Executive suites
- ↑ Dialogue with Joshua Graham and Ulysses
- ↑ According to Yes Man, seven couriers were hired to deliver the platinum chip, not six.
- ↑ Dialogue with Ulysses
- ↑ Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide.
- ↑ Torn journal page
- ↑ Patient log: Y-17
- ↑ Only way in which it makes logical sense.
- ↑ Will Ooi » Blog Archive » Unmasking the Gamers: Chris Avellone – game designer, writer, and former ‘unlucky schlep’ – Part 1
- ↑ http://tcrf.net/Fallout:_New_Vegas/Lonesome_Road
- ↑ Ulysses stalking us during LR?
- ↑ http://imgur.com/a/UxYsG
- ↑ Feature Interview: Chris Avellone, Game Designer, Fallout: New Vegas by Matt London | Lightspeed Magazine
- ↑ Gamasutra: Will Ooi's Blog - An Interview with Chris Avellone - game designer, writer, and former 'unlucky schlep' - Part 3